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Proust Was A Neuroscientist

Lehrer, Jonah (Book - 2007)
Average Rating: 4 stars out of 5.
Proust Was A Neuroscientist
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In this technology-driven age, it's tempting to believe that science can solve every mystery. After all, science has cured countless diseases and even sent humans into space. But as Jonah Lehrer argues in this sparkling debut, science is not the only path to knowledge. In fact, when it comes to understanding the brain, art got there first. Taking a group of artists #151; a painter, a poet, a chef, a composer, and a handful of novelists #151; Lehrer shows how each one discovered an essential truth about the mind that science is only now rediscovering. We learn, for example, how Proust first revealed the fallibility of memory; how George Eliot discovered the brain's malleability; how the French chef Escoffier discovered umami (the fifth taste); how Cézanne worked out the subtleties of vision; and how Gertrude Stein exposed the deep structure of language #151; a full half-century before the work of Noam Chomsky and other linguists. It's the ultimate tale of art trumping science. More broadly, Lehrer shows that there isnbsp;a cost to reducing everything to atoms and acronyms and genes. Measurement is not the same as understanding, and art knows this better than science does. An ingenious blend of biography, criticism, and first-rate science writing, Proust Was a Neuroscientist urges science and art to listen more closely to each other, for willing minds can combine the best of both, to brilliant effect.
Authors: Lehrer, Jonah
Title: Proust was a neuroscientist
Publisher: Boston : Houghton Mifflin Co., 2007
Characteristics: xii, 242 p. :,ill., music ;,22 cm
Statement of Responsibility: Jonah Lehrer
Contents: Walt Whitman : The substance of feeling
George Eliot : The biology of freedom
Auguste Escoffier : The essence of taste
Marcel Proust : The method of memory
Paul Cézanne : The process of sight
Igor Stravinsky : The source of music
Gertrude Stein : The structure of language
Virginia Woolf : The emergent self
ISBN: 0618620109
Branch Call Number: 700.105 L529p 2007
Bibliography: Includes bibliographical references (p. 216-230) and index
Subject Headings: Neurosciences History Neurosciences and the arts
Topical Term: Neurosciences
Neurosciences and the arts
LCCN: 2007008518
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Taking a group of artists; a painter, a poet, a chef, a composer, and a handful of novelists; Lehrer shows how each one discovered an essential truth about the mind that science is only now rediscovering. -

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Apr 01, 2013
  • Avantel rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

You may need to re-read this book more than once and you should take it like playing video games because this book’s complexity can be as fun to break into as video games. This is because artists and intellectuals usually don’t make their points clear while scientists tend to be quite firm in their conclusions. Thus, Jonha Lehrer’s book is a link between these two groups and required a very profound and thoughtful work that requires the same habits when reading it. This is one of the books that help people find themselves and understand others better.

Dec 09, 2011
  • GrandCru rated this: 3.5 stars out of 5.

chapters on proust, cezanne, stravinsky and escoffier interested me. certainly something to think about.


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