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Michael S Gazzaniga

Human

There are many similarities between humans and other animals, but Michael S Gazzaniga thinks that theres a danger of ignoring the differences. In Human: The Science Behind What Makes Us Unique he points out areas where there is a considerable distance between humans and other members of the animal kingdom.

Other animals can be altruistic, but Gazzaniga argues that they fall far short of the human moral sense. He also explains how humans deal with far more complex social issues that other animals - you might think of social insects, but they tend to have rigid behaviour patterns. Humans also have a storng sense of empathy - if you seen someone getting hurt you are likely to experience some of their pain. Later chapters of the book look at the multi-level theory of mind which humans possess, and the final section looks at the possibilities of future enhancements of the human mind.

I felt, though, that the book wasn't structured in a way to convince the reader of Gazzaniga's arguments. The first chapter jumps into describing some of the latest work in neuroscience, and so ends up being over-technical. It gets easier later on, but tends to wander around - a couple of pages after out-of-the-body experiences we find out about the evolution of dogs, without really seeing what points are being made. On the other hand,the book does have lots of interesting material and extensive notes, so if you want an introduction to what makes us human then this might be of interest to you.

Amazon.com info
Hardcover 464 pages  
ISBN: 0060892889
Salesrank: 792718
Weight:1.7 lbs
Published: 2008 Ecco
Amazon price $11.39
Marketplace:New from $7.30:Used from $1.45
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Amazon.co.uk info
Hardcover 447 pages  
ISBN: 0060892889
Salesrank: 1477278
Weight:1.7 lbs
Published: 2008 Ecco
Amazon price £27.99
Marketplace:New from £11.47:Used from £0.75
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Amazon.ca info
Hardcover 464 pages  
ISBN: 0060892889
Salesrank: 388868
Weight:1.7 lbs
Published: 2008 Ecco
Amazon price CDN$ 15.79
Marketplace:New from CDN$ 15.79:Used from CDN$ 3.97
Buy from Amazon.ca





Product Description

One of the world's leading neuroscientists explores how best to understand the human condition by examining the biological, psychological, and highly social nature of our species within the social context of our lives.

What happened along the evolutionary trail that made humans so unique? In his widely accessible style, Michael Gazzaniga looks to a broad range of studies to pinpoint the change that made us thinking, sentient humans, different from our predecessors.

Neuroscience has been fixated on the life of the psychological self for the past fifty years, focusing on the brain systems underlying language, memory, emotion, and perception. What it has not done is consider the stark reality that most of the time we humans are thinking about social processes, comparing ourselves to and estimating the intentions of others. In Human, Gazzaniga explores a number of related issues, including what makes human brains unique, the importance of language and art in defining the human condition, the nature of human consciousness, and even artificial intelligence.