Who's in Charge?: Free Will and the Science of the Brain

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9780061906107: Who's in Charge?: Free Will and the Science of the Brain

The prevailing orthodoxy in brain science is that since physical laws govern our physical brains, physical laws therefore govern our behaviour and even our conscious selves. Free will is meaningless, goes the mantra; we live in a "determined" world. Not so, argues the renowned neuroscientist Michael S. Gazzaniga as he explains how the mind, "constrains" the brain just as cars are constrained by the traffic they create. Writing with what Steven Pinker has called "his trademark wit and lack of pretension," Gazzaniga ranges across neuroscience, psychology and ethics to show how incorrect it is to blame our brains for our behaviour. Even given the latest insights into the physical mechanisms of the mind, he explains, we are responsible agents who should be held accountable for our actions, because responsibility is found in how people interact, not in brains. An extraordinary book, combining a light touch with profound implications, Who's in Charge? is a lasting contribution from one of the leading thinkers of our time.

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English book

Review:

Gazzaniga is one of the most brilliant experimental neuroscientists in the world. (Tom Wolfe)

... a wide-ranging and enjoyable exploration of how science interrogates the mind. ( The Economist)

Big questions are Gazzaniga's stock in trade. ( New York Times)

Gazzaniga is a towering figure in contemporary neurobiology. . . . Who's in Charge? is a joy to read. ( Wall Street Journal)

Written by one of the broadest thinkers in psychology, Who's in Charge? is an intellectual feast. (Jonathan Haidt, author of The Happiness Hypothesis and The Righteous Mind)

This exciting, stimulating, and sometimes even funny book challenges us to think in new ways about that most mysterious part of us-the part that makes us think we're us. (Alan Alda)

Gazzaniga stands as a giant among neuroscientists, for both the quality of his research and his ability to communicate it to a general public with infectious enthusiasm. (Robert Bazell, Chief Science Correspondent, NBC News)

From one of the world's leading thinkers comes a thought-provoking book on how we think and how we act. . . . An exciting, stimulating, and at times even funny read that helps us further understand ourselves, our actions, and our world. ( CNBC.com, Best Books for the Holidays)

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