Robert A. Burton





Robert A. Burton


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Robert Burton, M.D. graduated from Yale University and University of California at San Francisco medical school, where he also completed his neurology residency. At age 33, he was appointed chief of the Division of Neurology at Mt. Zion-UCSF Hospital, where he subsequently became Associate Chief of the Department of Neurosciences. His non-neurology writing career includes three critically acclaimed novels. He lives in Sausalito, California.

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Average rating: 3.9 · 1,819 ratings · 135 reviews · 5 distinct works · Similar authors
On Being Certain: Believing...

3.91 avg rating — 1,673 ratings — published 2008 — 8 editions
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A Skeptic's Guide to the Mi...

3.87 avg rating — 136 ratings — published 2013 — 5 editions
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Cellmates

liked it 3.00 avg rating — 5 ratings — published 1997 — 3 editions
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Final Therapy

2.75 avg rating — 4 ratings — published 1994
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Doc-In-A-Box

it was ok 2.00 avg rating — 1 rating — published 1991 — 2 editions
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“Though not necessarily aware of when we feel purpose and meaning, we are nearly always aware of the sickening feeling when we don't possess them. This isn't an intellectual misapprehension; it is a gut sense of disorientation and a loss of personal direction. Rarely are brute mental effort and self-help pep talks able to rekindle the missing feeling. For most of us, we simply wait patiently, knowing from past experience that the feeling will return in its own sweet time . . . Of particular interest is [Tolstoy's] conclusion as to the inability of science and reason to provide a personal sense of meaning.”
Robert A. Burton, On Being Certain: Believing You Are Right Even When You're Not

“Dawkins conveniently illustrates the rationalist's dilemma: How do you articulate a personal sense of purpose when you intellectually have concluded that the world is pointless? What is the purpose of pointing out pointlessness? What does it mean to find purpose in understanding pointlessness? Once again we are back at the conflict between Dawkins' intellect (the world is pointless) and his mental sensation of purpose (I will show others that faith is irrational). To understand the intensity of this felt purpose, Google Dawkins' bio and speaking engagements. His near-evangelical effort to convince the faithful of the folly of their convictions has the same zealous ring as those missionaries who feel it is their duty to convert the heathens.”
Robert A. Burton, On Being Certain: Believing You Are Right Even When You're Not

“The history of science is the back-and-forth movement of trial-and-error advances and retreats, punctuated by moments of brilliance and marred by periods of excess.”
Robert A. Burton, A Skeptic's Guide to the Mind: What Neuroscience Can and Cannot Tell Us About Ourselves



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