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How biology breaks the ‘cerebral mystique’

The Biological Mind explores how the brain, body and environment make us who we are

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7:00am, March 12, 2018
brain

CHANGING MINDS  Many people view the brain as special and separate from the rest of the body. Alan Jasanoff argues that this “cerebral mystique” is the wrong way to think about the brain.

The Biological Mind
Alan Jasanoff
Basic Books, $30

At a small eatery in Seville, Spain, Alan Jasanoff had his first experience with brains — wrapped in eggs and served with potatoes. At the time, he was more interested in finding a good, affordable meal than contemplating the sheer awesomeness of the organ he was eating. Years later, Jasanoff began studying the brain as part of his training as a neuroscientist, and he went on, like so many others, to revere it. It is said, after all, to be the root of our soul and consciousness. But today, Jasanoff has yet another view: He has come to see our awe of the organ as a seriously flawed way of thinking, and even a danger to society.

In The Biological Mind, Jasanoff,

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