The Physiology of Truth (häftad)
Häftad (Paperback / softback)
Antal sidor
The Belknap Press
Malcolm DeBevoise
39 halftones, 28 line illustrations
233 x 154 x 22 mm
507 g
Antal komponenter

The Physiology of Truth

Neuroscience and Human Knowledge

Häftad,  Franska, 2009-03-01
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In this wide-ranging book, one of the boldest thinkers in modern neuroscience confronts an ancient philosophical problem: can we know the world as it really is? Drawing on provocative new findings about the psychophysiology of perception and judgment in both human and nonhuman primates, and also on the cultural history of science, Jean-Pierre Changeux makes a powerful case for the reality of scientific progress and argues that it forms the basis for a coherent and universal theory of human rights. On this view, belief in objective knowledge is not a mere ideological slogan or a nave confusion; it is a characteristic feature of human cognition throughout evolution, and the scientific method its most sophisticated embodiment. Seeking to reconcile science and humanism, Changeux holds that the capacity to recognize truths that are independent of subjective personal experience constitutes the foundation of a human civil society.
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Jean-Pierre Changeux is Frances most famous neuroscientist In his book The Physiology of Truth, Changeux connects memory to the acquisition of knowledge and the testing of its validity, as is done in science in general. -- Israel Rosenfield and Edward Ziff * New York Review of Books * In The Physiology of Truth, a translation of his LHomme de vrit, Jean-Pierre Changeux provides an account whereby selection among an initial plethora of possibilities yields those that are true, a process evident both in brain development and in knowledge acquisition. Along the way, he espouses a hopeful naturalism: evolution ensures that our nervous systems aim at representing the truth, and aspects of our culturenotably freedom, communication, and pursuit of the scientific methodcan ensure that we as a society have true beliefs Changeux, a neurobiologist at the Institut Pasteur in Paris, begins by reviewing the philosophical problems and their recalcitrance. He then considers the neurobiology and its complexity and lastly extends his discussion to culture and society His vision is at once that of the detached scientist and the deeply caring humanistfor him, the two go hand in hand. He believes that applying the standards of the scientific method to society will promote freedom of ideas and individual rights, and that from this a stable consensual agreement on truth can emerge. Let us hope that this attractive vision prevails. -- Ralph Adolphs and James Woodward * Science * The Physiology of Truthis not an essay on physiology, epistemology or semantics, but a tour de force covering selected chapters in neuroscience and their philosophical underpinning, colored by the authors interpretation of the interaction of phylogenesis, ontogenesis and epigenesis. The binding theme is the relationship of knowledge encoded in our brain with the world at large. The theory draws from forty years of research by the author and his colleagues, but as usual, it also rests on the shoulders of giants The Physiology of Truth is a useful pointer to intellectual repercussions of brain research, as well as the epitome of the ability to bring blessed subjectivity to scientific texts. Many discussions in the book are thought provoking. -- Yadin Dudai * Nature Neuroscience * [Changeux] thinks it is time that scientists attempted to explain mythic thought, because only by understanding irrational belief can they explain the rational search for truth that grew out of it. An objective knowledge does exist, and our brains are equipped to recognise it. But the quest for it is often biased by political and economic forces, and the editorial decisions of journals which are at the mercy of those forces. -- Laura Spinney * New Scientist * Changeuxs work advances an epigenetic hypothesis as a means of explaining the philosophical significance of recent findings in the neurosciences. This is especially noteworthy because the hypothesis offers an evidence-based challenge to two popular ideas: namely, the largely functionalist idea that the brain is nothing more than a sophisticated computer and, alternatively, the nativist idea that the brain is the embodiment of a strictly predetermined genetic inheritance. Among Changeuxs many conclusions, two are particularly fascinating: first, that the brain is able to produce objective knowledgea kind of universal framework of thoughtthat permits individuals to communicate through language; and secondly, that this fact about the human species may serve as the basis by which humans ultimately save themselves. -- H. Storl * Choice * Jean-Pierre Changeux is a man of universal mind, at home equally in philosophy, linguistics, social psychology, neuroscience, molecular biology and computer modelling. The Physiology of Truth is a joy to read, a thrilling book, in which we are guided by Changeuxs lucid prose and effortless range of references and perspectives towards what the twenty-first

Övrig information

Jean-Pierre Changeux, author of the classic Neuronal Man, is Director of the Molecular Neurobiology Laboratory at the Institut Pasteur in Paris, Professor in the Collge de France, and a member of the French Academy of Sciences.


Introduction 1. Thinking Matter 2. The Acquisition of Knowledge 3. States of Consciousness 4. Knowledge and Social Life 5. From Genes to Brain 6. Neuronal Epigenesis and Cultural Evolution 7. Scientific Research and the Search for Truth 8. The Humanity of Science Conclusion Notes Credits Acknowledgments Index