Victor Johnston - Why We Feel - Little, Brown Book Group

Time remaining

  • -- days
  • -- hours
  • -- minutes
  • -- seconds

Why We Feel

By Victor Johnston

  • Paperback
  • £12.99

Biopsychologist Victor Johnston explores the origins of human emotions. Drawing on computer science, neurobiology, and evolutionary psychology, he argues that emotions are not an accident of nature, but are instead the basis of learning and reasoning, and help us to adapt to a complex, rapidly changing environment. In the process, he offers a new view of reality - what we see, hear, smell and feel is not an accurate representation of the world around us rather, our feelings are illusions, shaped by millions of years of evolution.

Biopsychologist Victor Johnston explores the origins of human emotions. Drawing on computer science, neurobiology, and evolutionary psychology, he argues that emotions are not an accident of nature, but are instead the basis of learning and reasoning, and help us to adapt to a complex, rapidly changing environment. In the process, he offers a new view of reality - what we see, hear, smell and feel is not an accurate representation of the world around us rather, our feelings are illusions, shaped by millions of years of evolution.

  • Other details

  • ISBN: 9780738203164
  • Publication date: 07 Apr 2000
  • Page count: 220
  • Imprint: Basic Books
Abacus

Superhuman

Rowan Hooper
Authors:
Rowan Hooper

Sunday Times Book of the YearThis is a book about what it feels like to be exceptional - and what it takes to get there. Why can some people achieve greatness when others can't, no matter how hard they try? What are the secrets of long life and happiness? Just how much potential does our species have?In this inspirational book, New Scientist Managing Editor Rowan Hooper takes us on a tour of the peaks of human achievement. We sit down with some of the world's finest minds, from a Nobel-prize winning scientist to a double Booker-prize winning author; we meet people whose power of focus has been the difference between a world record and death; we learn from international opera stars; we go back in time with memory champions, and we explore the transcendent experience of ultrarunners. We meet people who have rebounded from near-death, those who have demonstrated exceptional bravery, and those who have found happiness in the most unexpected ways.Drawing on interviews with a wide range of superhumans as well as those who study them, Hooper assesses the science of peak potential, reviewing the role of genetics alongside the famed 10,000 hours of practice.For anyone who ever felt that they might be able to do something extraordinary in life, for those who simply want to succeed, and for anyone interested in incredible human stories, Superhuman is a must-read.

Constable

I Had to Survive

Dr. Roberto Canessa, Pablo Vierci
Authors:
Dr. Roberto Canessa, Pablo Vierci
Basic Books

Einstein's Dice and Schrödinger's Cat

Paul Halpern
Authors:
Paul Halpern
Basic Books

A Crude Look at the Whole

John H. Miller
Authors:
John H. Miller

Imagine trying to understand a stained glass window by breaking it into pieces and examining it one shard at a time. While you could probably learn a lot about each piece, you would have no idea about what the entire picture looks like. This is reductionism,the idea that to understand the world we only need to study its pieces,and it is how most social scientists approach their work.In A Crude Look at the Whole , social scientist and economist John H. Miller shows why we need to start looking at whole pictures. For one thing, whether we are talking about stock markets, computer networks, or biological organisms, individual parts only make sense when we remember that they are part of larger wholes. And perhaps more importantly, those wholes can take on behaviours that are strikingly different from that of their pieces.Miller, a leading expert in the computational study of complex adaptive systems, reveals astounding global patterns linking the organization of otherwise radically different structures: It might seem crude, but a beehive's temperature control system can help predict market fluctuations and a mammal's heartbeat can help us understand the heartbeat" of a city and adapt urban planning accordingly. From enduring racial segregation to sudden stock market disasters, once we start drawing links between complex systems, we can start solving what otherwise might be totally intractable problems.Thanks to this revolutionary perspective, we can finally transcend the limits of reductionism and discover crucial new ideas. Scientifically founded and beautifully written, A Crude Look at the Whole is a powerful exploration of the challenges that we face as a society. As it reveals, taking the crude look might be the only way to truly see.

Basic Books

Home

John S. Allen
Authors:
John S. Allen

As the adage goes, home is where the heart is. This may seem self-explanatory, but none of our close primate cousins have anything like homes. Whether we live in an igloo or in Buckingham Palace, the fact that Homo sapiens create homes is one of the greatest puzzles of our evolution. In Home , neuroanthropologist John S. Allen marshals evidence from evolutionary anthropology, neuroscience, the study of emotion, and modern sociology to argue that the home is one of the most important cognitive, technological, and cultural products of our species' evolution. It is because we have homes,relatively secure against whatever horrors lurk outside,that human civilizations have been able to achieve the periods of explosive cultural and creative progress that are our species' hallmark.Narratives of human evolution are dominated by the emergence of language, the importance of hunting and cooking, the control of fire, the centrality of cooperation, and the increasingly long time periods children need to develop. In Home , Allen argues that the home served as a nexus for these activities and developments, providing a stable and safe base from which forays into the unknown,both mental and physical,could be launched. But the power of the home is not just in what we accomplish while we have it, but in what goes wrong when we do not. According to Allen, insecure homes foster depression in adults and health problems in all ages, and homelessness is more than an economic tragedy: it is a developmental and psychological disaster.Home sheds new light on the deep pleasures we receive from our homes, rooting them in both our evolution and our identity as humans. Home is not simply where the heart is, but the mind too. No wonder we miss it so when we are gone.

Basic Books

We Have the Technology

Kara Platoni
Authors:
Kara Platoni

How do we know what's real? That's not a trick question: sensory science is increasingly finding that we don't perceive reality: we create it through perception. In We Have the Technology , science writer Kara Platoni guides us through the latest developments in the science of sensory perception. We Have the Technology introduces us to researchers who are changing the way we experience the world, whether creating scents that stimulate the memories of Alzheimer's patients, constructing virtual limbs that approximate a sense of touch, or building augmented reality labs that prepare soldiers for the battlefield. These diverse investigations not only explain previously elusive aspects of human experience, but offer tantalizing glimpses into a future when we can expand, control, and enhance our senses as never before.A fascinating tour of human capability and scientific ingenuity, We Have the Technology offers essential insights into the nature and possibilities of human experience.

Basic Books

The Island of Knowledge

Marcelo Gleiser
Authors:
Marcelo Gleiser

Do all questions have answers? How much can we know about the world? Is there such a thing as an ultimate truth?To be human is to want to know, but what we are able to observe is only a tiny portion of what's out there." In The Island of Knowledge , physicist Marcelo Gleiser traces our search for answers to the most fundamental questions of existence. In so doing, he reaches a provocative conclusion: science, the main tool we use to find answers, is fundamentally limited.These limits to our knowledge arise both from our tools of exploration and from the nature of physical reality: the speed of light, the uncertainty principle, the impossibility of seeing beyond the cosmic horizon, the incompleteness theorem, and our own limitations as an intelligent species. Recognizing limits in this way, Gleiser argues, is not a deterrent to progress or a surrendering to religion. Rather, it frees us to question the meaning and nature of the universe while affirming the central role of life and ourselves in it. Science can and must go on, but recognizing its limits reveals its true mission: to know the universe is to know ourselves.Telling the dramatic story of our quest for understanding, The Island of Knowledge offers a highly original exploration of the ideas of some of the greatest thinkers in history, from Plato to Einstein, and how they affect us today. An authoritative, broad-ranging intellectual history of our search for knowledge and meaning, The Island of Knowledge is a unique view of what it means to be human in a universe filled with mystery.

Basic Books

End Of Science

John Horgan
Authors:
John Horgan

In The End of Science, John Horgan makes the case that the era of truly profound scientific revelations about the universe and our place in it is over. Interviewing scientific luminaries such as Stephen Hawking, Francis Crick, and Richard Dawkins, he demonstrates that all the big questions that can be answered have been answered, as science bumps up against fundamental limits. The world cannot give us a "theory of everything," and modern endeavors such as string theory are "ironic" and "theological" in nature, not scientific, because they are impossible to confirm. Horgan's argument was controversial in 1996, and it remains so today, still firing up debates in labs and on the internet, not least because-as Horgan details in a lengthy new introduction-ironic science is more prevalent than ever. Still, while Horgan offers his critique, grounded in the thinking of the world's leading researchers, he offers homage, too. If science is ending, he maintains, it is only because it has done its work so well.

Basic Books

Neanderthal Man

Svante Pääbo
Authors:
Svante Pääbo

ONE OF AMAZON'S TOP 100 BOOKS OF 2014 Neanderthal Man tells the story of geneticist Svante Pääbo's mission to answer this question: what can we learn from the genomes of our closest evolutionary relatives? Beginning with the study of DNA in Egyptian mummies in the early 1980s and culminating in the sequencing of the Neanderthal genome in 2010, Neanderthal Man describes the events, intrigues, failures, and triumphs of these scientifically rich years through the lens of the pioneer and inventor of the field of ancient DNA. We learn that Neanderthal genes offer a unique window into the lives of our hominid relatives and may hold the key to unlocking the mystery of why humans survived while Neanderthals went extinct. Pääbo's findings have not only redrawn our family tree, but recast the fundamentals of human history,the biological beginnings of fully modern Homo sapiens , the direct ancestors of all people alive today.

Basic Books

The Edge of the Sky

Roberto Trotta
Authors:
Roberto Trotta
Basic Books

The Big Ratchet

Ruth DeFries
Authors:
Ruth DeFries
Basic Books

Exercises for the Feynman Lectures on Physics

Matthew Sands, Richard P. Feynman, Robert B. Leighton
Authors:
Matthew Sands, Richard P. Feynman, Robert B. Leighton
Basic Books

Linked

Albert-laszlo Barabasi
Authors:
Albert-laszlo Barabasi

A cocktail party. A terrorist cell. Ancient bacteria. An international conglomerate. All are networks, and all are a part of a surprising scientific revolution. In Linked , Albert-László Barabási, the nation's foremost expert in the new science of networks, takes us on an intellectual adventure to prove that social networks, corporations, and living organisms are more similar than previously thought. Barabási shows that grasping a full understanding of network science will someday allow us to design blue-chip businesses, stop the outbreak of deadly diseases, and influence the exchange of ideas and information. Just as James Gleick and the Erdos-Rényi model brought the discovery of chaos theory to the general public, Linked tells the story of the true science of the future and of experiments in statistical mechanics on the internet, all vital parts of what would eventually be called the Barabási-Albert model.

Basic Books

Regenesis

Ed Regis, George M. Church
Authors:
Ed Regis, George M. Church
PublicAffairs

Science Left Behind

Alex Berezow, Hank Campbell
Authors:
Alex Berezow, Hank Campbell
Basic Books

The Gap

Thomas Suddendorf
Authors:
Thomas Suddendorf

There exists an undeniable chasm between the capacities of humans and those of animals. Our minds have spawned civilizations and technologies that have changed the face of the Earth, whereas even our closest animal relatives sit unobtrusively in their dwindling habitats. Yet despite longstanding debates, the nature of this apparent gap has remained unclear. What exactly is the difference between our minds and theirs?In The Gap , psychologist Thomas Suddendorf provides a definitive account of the mental qualities that separate humans from other animals, as well as how these differences arose. Drawing on two decades of research on apes, children, and human evolution, he surveys the abilities most often cited as uniquely human,language, intelligence, morality, culture, theory of mind, and mental time travel,and finds that two traits account for most of the ways in which our minds appear so distinct: Namely, our open-ended ability to imagine and reflect on scenarios, and our insatiable drive to link our minds together. These two traits explain how our species was able to amplify qualities that we inherited in parallel with our animal counterparts transforming animal communication into language, memory into mental time travel, sociality into mind reading, problem solving into abstract reasoning, traditions into culture, and empathy into morality.Suddendorf concludes with the provocative suggestion that our unrivalled status may be our own creation,and that the gap is growing wider not so much because we are becoming smarter but because we are killing off our closest intelligent animal relatives.Weaving together the latest findings in animal behaviour, child development, anthropology, psychology, and neuroscience, this book will change the way we think about our place in nature. A major argument for reconsidering what makes us human, The Gap is essential reading for anyone interested in our evolutionary origins and our relationship with the rest of the animal kingdom.

Basic Books

The Infinity Puzzle

Frank Close
Authors:
Frank Close
Basic Books

How We Do It

Robert Martin
Authors:
Robert Martin
Basic Books

Probably Approximately Correct

Leslie Valiant
Authors:
Leslie Valiant
PublicAffairs

Memoirs of an Addicted Brain

Marc Lewis
Authors:
Marc Lewis