Haidt’s Happiness

As a practitioner of positive psychology (and an atheist) Jonathan Haidt’s “The Happiness Hypothesis” reads at times like a spiritual self-help book, and in a sense it is, but it is supported by a mass of academic and scientific references. The Psybertron agenda has been on evolutionary psychology as a description of both epistemology (what … Continue reading “Haidt’s Happiness”

Talking out your Arse ?

If computers had colons, they could make better decisions. Nice one from Dilbert. The problem is confusing brains with minds. You colon is part of your mind, even though it’s not part of your brain. Damasio has a word for it – Somatic Markers. (And yes it is all process. Process that is; not “a” … Continue reading “Talking out your Arse ?”

What a Difference 4 Years Make

Talking of Australian intellectals as we were very briefly in the previous post, by some spooky coincidence, I’ve been reading Bennett & Hacker “Philosophical Foundations of Neuroscience” for the last couple of days. Hacker is P M S Hacker the Oxford philosopher, whereas M R Bennett is chair of physiology in Sydney. Where to start … Continue reading “What a Difference 4 Years Make”

Vilayanur Ramachandran

Read and recently re-read “The Emerging Mind” originally prepared as the 2003 BBC Reith Lectures byVilayanur Ramachandran – Rama to his friends aparently. First time through (the book) I was initially disappointed (as ever) but in fact the book of 5 lectures is a gem. I was initially put off by his early suggestion that … Continue reading “Vilayanur Ramachandran”

Somatic Markers

I’ve been thinking of something positive to say about Antonio Damasio’s Somatic Marker Theory since finishing “Descartes’ Error”. For anyone who believes … the common-sense view of decison-making is a logical sequence of weighing up all available options objectively. the common-sense view of mind and body involves understanding the “brain” distinct from the “body proper”. … Continue reading “Somatic Markers”