In the beginning of December I started reading Damasio. It’s a challenging task, VERY CHALLENGING! But at times also a very rewarding project. I read him to understand a bit more about the brain (my own – and brains in general). And I also read him because I’m interested in looking at art from a biological (natural? innate?) perspective.
Coming from a post-structural and rather relativistic tradition, I am worried that I have overlooked some basic facts of the human condition. I’m trusting Damasio to fill me in.
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Because of his own deep interest in the arts, I suppose he may have an “agenda” to show how valuable the arts are to human cognition, intelligence, and behavior. But he does so with some compelling arguments, most of which are soundly based in science.
I applaud you for reading his work–in English, I suppose–not your first language, and the neuroscience stuff is hard enough to understand even for a native English speaker! (But he is at least bilingual himself.)
The structures turn out to be quite fundamental, don’t they?
Dear Ann, Happy New Year!
You know – I find Damasio’s language foreign in a double sense, as English, but also scientifically; in the way he is naming the body so very precise, yet also abstract. I’m reading him in small portions, with lots of time to think around every piece.