Who's in Charge?: Free Will and the Science of the Brain
A powerful orthodoxy in the study of the brain has taken hold in recent years: Since physical laws govern the physical world and our own brains are par...more
however, the book also slightly suffers structurally because of its "collection-like" nature. the arguments are stretched out between descriptions (that are necessary - book is written in a relatively popular language, thus, little knowledge can be assumed on the part of the reader...more
Let’s have a look at the problem. In the middle of this book he has a really lovely analogy explaining the barriers that reductionism places in front of our understanding of free will.
Let’s say you wanted to understand the problem of traffic congestion. To what extent would understanding the workings of a car’s spark...more
Gazzaniga starts out in a way that suggests his alignment with the reductionist and deterministic viewpoints. He divides our mind into its unconscious and conscious roles and stat...more
"Who's in Charge: Free Will and the Science of the Brain" is the thought-provoking book about the fascinating topic of free will and neuroscience. Neuroscientist and gifted author Michael S. Gazzaniga provides the latest insights into the science of the brain and offers unique perspectives. This 272-page book is composed of seven chapters: 1. The Way We Are, 2. The Parallel and Distributing Brain, 3. The Interpreter,...more
This much of the book is a good preparati...more
The father of cognitive neuroscience and author of Human offers a provocative argument against the common belief that our lives are wholly determined by physical processes and we are therefore not responsible for our actions
A powerful orthodoxy in the study of the brain has taken hold in recent years: Since physical laws govern the physical world and our own brains are part of that world, physical laws therefore govern our behavior and even our conscious selves. Free will is meanin...more
While i was reading the book I was literally feeling that my perspective on consciousness was expanding on a large scale.
People usually tackle the subject of consciousness through the point of view of religion or philosophy or maybe even mixed science and pholosophy. But Gazzaniga prefer science , as do i.
The book is a ride worth taking if you are interested in the subject ; as it opens so many...more
Or are we just thinking of the question the wrong way?
The free will conundrum takes a turn for the ridiculous when it assumes that free will is something that must take place outside of the material world that everything else resides in. The thought experim...more
That sums up the thrust of Gazzaniga's argument in "Who's in Charge?", adapted from his 2009 Gifford Lecture, a thorough and accessible look at trends in modern neuroscience -- and the physical determinism they seem to imply -- and the all-too-real feeling that we are intentional, morally-responsible agents.
The first three chapters cover basics of neuroscience. What brains are, how they work, what they do. Not much new here if you're familiar with other overviews of...more
The book is solidly put together from recent research, although, as I think some other reviews have said, since it's an attempt to bring together a lot of disparate research, it does tend to have a "kitchen sink" quality about it. It's n...more
Michael Gazzaniga contends that we are more than the sum, or volume, of our parts and, in the system of human interactions, we are personally responsible for our actions. Duh-...more
"Who’s in Charge? proposes that the mind, which is somehow generated by the physical processes of the brain, “constrains” the brain just as cars are constrained by the traffic they create. Writing with what Steven Pinker has called “his trademark wit and lack of pretension,” Gazzaniga shows how determinism immeasurably weakens our views of human responsibility; it allows a murderer to argue, in effect, “It wasn’t me who did it——it was my brain.” Gazzaniga...more
Michael Gazzaniga is (together with Antonio Damasio) one of the top neuroscience writers. His excellent scientific explanations always remaing understandable for the layman (although some knowledge of how the brain functions helps you a lot).
Gazzaniga gives us some fascinating insights about how our brains work and how mind has evolved. On the topic of determinism he really...more
This book was just a mish- mash of neat studies done on human behavior without a cohesive thread to hold it together.
I recommend you start with the Blakasl...more
The author's premise seems to be a form similar to "god of the gaps," wherein the uncertainty of not knowing something or not being able to measure something leaves room for other sorts of d...more
My only exception to the book was on page 157 where he describes the theories of Hare and Tomasello that constraining individual behavior -- for the social good -- eventually lead to genetic changes. That the cooperative nature of people, evidenced by building the pyramids and Roman aqueducts, has genetically reduced people's aggressive behavior.
I thought th...more
what exactly is the I we think we are? Where does it come from, and is it really in charge? These are the questions tackled in this book, along with issues such as responsibility and how the current neuroscience applies to our society and the law.
This is not a very long read, and there are other books out there that go more in-depth, but this one seems a great introduction to what we currently know of how the brain works and the dilemma of determinism over free will. The author explores why dete...more
The end especially left me wondering if it was rushed to the publisher. It was extremely convoluted.
I may give it another go and change my mind. So I...more
His early research examined the subject of epileptics who had undergone surg...more