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Descartes' Error Summary

António R. Damásio

Descartes' Error

by António R. Damásio

Descartes' Error

António R. Damásio

Clock Icon5 min
Insight Icon3 key insights
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'Descartes' Error' uses neuroscience and interesting case studies to help us understand and identify how the body and our emotions play a vital role in logical thinking - so you can hack your thinking abilities and improve your life.

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Descartes' Error

by António R. Damásio

Descartes' Error

António R. Damásio

Overview

Are the mind and body separate? Are our brains in control of everything, running the entire process and the actions of our bodies? This idea of the duality of mind and body goes back to ancient Greece's greatest philosophers. And yet we mostly associate the mind-body question with René Descartes, the French philosopher and scientist.

Historically, most have seen emotions coming from the body as lesser than thoughts, products of the mind. However, science has progressed to show us this simply isn't true.

In António R. Damásio's Descartes' Error: Emotion, Reason, and the Human Brain, we find out what a man who survived with a rod through his skull and a man who took half an hour to decide on an appointment time have in common. What does this understanding of our brains mean for our mind and body?

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Favorite Quote

"Willpower is just another name for the idea of choosing long-term outcomes rather than short-term ones."

António R. Damásio

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Descartes' Error

António R. Damásio

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