Jeremy's Reviews > Incognito: The Secret Lives of the Brain

Incognito by David Eagleman
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's review
Aug 02, 2011

really liked it

The first part of this book, and the largest part, is a collection of brain science anecdotes. It's entertaining, full of gee whiz moments, but not particularly original. There are other books that cover similar ground--the gap between how scientists think the brain works and how we lay people imagine our brains work. The last section of the book discusses free will and criminal justice. The basic argument is about an "insanity defense"--some problems with the brain free a person from guilt for a crime. As more and more behaviors come to be understand as unconscious processes caused by XYZ function in the brain, we can't just say more and more criminals should go free. I haven't thought carefully about his proposal or other alternatives, but the issues are interesting.

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