Joshua Stein's Reviews > Phantoms in the Brain: Probing the Mysteries of the Human Mind

Phantoms in the Brain by V.S. Ramachandran
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Aug 22, 2010

really liked it
Read from August 19 to 22, 2010

Dr. Ramachandran is a brilliant mind and easy to follow. His ability to walk through case studies and apply them to the theories of medical science in the field makes him incredibly easy to follow and to see the connections between the symptoms and the best theories about the underlying condition.

It's tough for me to read something outside my field because I always wonder what will happen if the author is misrepresenting areas of his field, creating strawmen or simply failing to point out that there are opinions which differ from his own. Ramachandran is humble in expressing his own opinions and good at articulating differing positions in ways that allow the individual to understand where the opposition does differ.

The book is highly specialized, and while I have to say there were parts of his work towards the end that I didn't entirely agree with as I felt they were an unfair representation of the positions of most contemporary philosophers, his presentation of the material (which is fascinating) more than does it justice. If you're interested in what's going on in your brain and how that ties to bigger questions, as well as the ways in which it impacts everyday life, it's a fantastic read. And since the book covers a pretty enormous swathe of information on complexes which emerge from brain trauma, there's bound to be something in here that drops the jaw.
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