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The Strange Order Of Things: Life, Feeling and the Making of Cultures

Antonio Damasio

7 Reviews

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Neurosciences

From one of the world's preeminent neuroscientists: a landmark reflection that spans the biological and social sciences, offering a new way of understanding the origins of life, feeling and culture.

'Damasio undertakes nothing less than a reconstruction of the natural history of the universe ... [A] brave and honest book' The New York Times Book Review

The Strange Order of Things is a pathbreaking investigation into homeostasis, the condition of that regulates human physiology within the range that makes possible not only survival but also the flourishing of life.

Antonio Damasio makes clear that we descend biologically, psychologically and even socially from a long lineage that begins with single living cells; that our minds and cultures are linked by an invisible thread to the ways and means of ancient unicellular existence and other primitive life-forms; and that inherent in our very chemistry is a powerful force, a striving toward life maintenance that governs life in all its guises, including the development of genes that help regulate and transmit life.

The Strange Order of Things is a landmark reflection that spans the biological and social sciences, offering a new way of understanding the origins of life, feeling and culture.

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Praise for The Strange Order Of Things: Life, Feeling and the Making of Cultures

  • 'Nietzsche would have given four cheers for this intricately argued book, which is at once scientifically rigorous and humanely accommodating, and, so far as this reviewer can judge, revolutionary ... The Strange Order of Things is a fresh and daring effort to identify the true spring and source of human being - of the being, in fact, of all living things - namely feeling' John Banville, The Guardian

  • 'A radical revision of how we understand mind, feeling, consciousness, and the construction of cultures ... Damasio draws a visionary link between biology and social science in a fascinating investigation of homeostasis--the delicate balance that underpins our physical existence, ensures our survival, and defines our flourishing' Maria Popova, Brain Pickings

  • 'In The Strange Order of Things, Antonio Damasio presents a new vision of what it means to be human. For too long we have thought of ourselves as rational minds inhabiting insentient mechanical bodies. Breaking with this philosophy, Damasio shows how our minds are rooted in feeling, a creation of our nervous system with an evolutionary history going back to ancient unicellular life that enables us to shape distinctively human cultures. Working out what this implies for the arts, the sciences and the human future, Damasio has given us that rarest of things, a book that can transform how we think--and feel--about ourselves' John Gray, Literary Review

  • 'Almost a quarter century after Descartes' Error, Antonio Damasio has done it again--created a grand exploration of the inextricable relationship between mind, body and the source of human feelings. Along the way, Damasio takes the reader on an adventure that starts with the single-celled organisms that existed billions of years ago, proceeds through the development of nervous systems and brains, and culminates with the origin of consciousness and human cultures. Thought-provoking and highly original, this book can change the way you look at yourself, and your species' Leonard Mlodinow, author of Subliminal

  • 'These pages make enthralling reading ... It is indispensable for any psychoanalyst--and not only for psychoanalysts, of course. Damasio is the closest thing we have in the post-truth era to a great public intellectual' Mark Solms, Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association

  • 'Damasio undertakes nothing less than a reconstruction of the natural history of the universe. ... [A] brave and honest book' The New York Times Book Review

  • 'Bold and important ... Damasio, by unseating the mind from its elevated throne within the brain, delivers an onslaught on one of the core dogmas of conventional neuroscience ... Compelling and refreshingly original' Nature

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Antonio Damasio

ANTONIO DAMASIO is the David Dornsife Chair in Neuroscience, and professor of psychology, neurology and philosophy at USC, where he heads the Brain and Creativity Institute. His influential research has centred on the important role of emotion in social cognition.

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