Frank Spencer's Reviews > Who's in Charge? Free Will and the Science of the Brain

Who's in Charge? Free Will and the Science of the Brain by Michael S. Gazzaniga
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Nov 23, 11

bookshelves: gifford-lectures
Read from November 21 to 23, 2011

This book covers a number of issues. The author's work on split brain individuals is covered, including his reaction to the first data to be gathered which spoke directly to what was going on. There is a lot of information about the ideas of modules in the brain, and the way in which they work and solve problems. Consciousness is seen as constructed from theses modules, with an interpreter which fills in what needs to be filled in to make sense of what has happened. A lot of information is presented which shows that our intentions and plans are put together after the relevant behaviors happen. Levels of functioning, and emergent properties and processes at the various levels are part of the mix, as are applications to legal proceedings. Five modules are presented relevant to moral decisions: reducing suffering, participating in give and take, respecting elders and authorities, being loyal to a group, and pursuing purity and the positive. Evolutionary theory is relied upon quite a lot. I got a lot out of this book.
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