March 14th, 2015

cognitive Hazard

The Self Illusion, by Bruce Hood

subtitle: How the Social Brain Creates Identity

I was a little disappointed with the overall thrust of the book. I was coming at it hoping for more of a philosophical take. Something like what Daniel Dennett says about the self being more like a narrative center of gravity for the burbling bubblepot that is the brain. There is some of that, but more of the book seems to be directed at deflating what I would consider to be a strawman. That there is some sort of rigid self that is so autonomous that it is immune to outside influence. I mean, when you're hungry, I think we all know we make different decisions (even not about food) than when we're sated. But there was still much to like.
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