Head Cases takes us into the dark side of the brain in an astonishing sequence of stories, at once true and strange, from the world of brain damage. Michael Paul Mason is one of an elite group of experts who coordinate care in the complicated aftermath of tragic injuries that can last a lifetime. On the road with Mason, we encounter survivors of brain injuries as they struggle to map and make sense of the new worlds they inhabit.Underlying each of these survivors' stories is an exploration of the brain and its mysteries. When injured, the brain must figure out how to heal itself, reorganizing its physiology in order to do the job. Mason gives us a series of vivid glimpses into brain science, the last frontier of medicine, and we come away in awe of the miracles of the brain's workings and astonished at the fragility of the brain and the sense of self, life, and order that resides there. Head Cases achieves] through sympathy and curiosity insight like that which pulses through genuine literature (The New York Sun); it is at once illuminating and deeply affecting.
We live in a time of relentless change. The only thing that's certain is that new challenges and opportunities will emerge that are virtually unimaginable today. How can we know which skills will be required to succeed?In Five Minds for the Future, bestselling author Howard Gardner shows how we will each need to master "five minds" that the fast-paced future will demand: - The disciplined mind, to learn at least one profession, as well as the major thinking (science, math, history, etc.) behind it - The synthesizing mind, to organize the massive amounts of information and communicate effectively to others - The creating mind, to revel in unasked questions - and uncover new phenomena and insightful apt answers - The respectful mind, to appreciate the differences between human beings - and understand and work with all persons - The ethical mind, to fulfill one's responsibilities as both a worker and a citizen Without these "minds," we risk being overwhelmed by information, unable to succeed in the workplace, and incapable of the judgment needed to thrive both personally and professionally. Complete with a substantial new introduction, Five Minds for the Future provides valuable tools for those looking ahead to the next generation of leaders - and for all of us striving to excel in a complex world. Howard Gardner--cited by Foreign Policy magazine as one of the one hundred most influential public intellectuals in the world, and a MacArthur Fellowship recipient--is the Hobbs Professor of Cognition and Education at the Harvard Graduate School of Education.
The last in a trilogy of books that investigates the philosophical and scientific foundations of human life
Joy, sorrow, jealousy, and awe--these and other feelings are the stuff of our daily lives. In the seventeenth century, the philosopher Spinoza devoted much of his life's work examining how these emotions supported human survival, yet hundreds of years later the biological roots of what we feel remain a mystery. Leading neuroscientist Antonio Damasio--whose earlier books explore rational behavior and the notion of the self--rediscovers a man whose work ran counter to all the thinking of his day, pairing Spinoza's insights with his own innovative scientific research to help us understand what we're made of, and what we're here for.
Americans are addicted to happiness. When we're not popping pills, we leaf through scientific studies that take for granted our quest for happiness, or read self-help books by everyone from armchair philosophers and clinical psychologists to the Dalai Lama on how to achieve a trouble-free life: "Stumbling ""on Happiness"; "Authentic Happiness: Using the New Positive ""Psychology to Realize Your Potential for Lasting Fulfillment"; "The ""Art of Happiness: A Handbook for Living. "The titles themselves draw a stark portrait of the war on melancholy. More than any other generation, Americans of today believe in the transformative power of positive thinking. But who says we're "supposed "to be happy? Where does it say that in the Bible, or in the Constitution? In "Against Happiness," the scholar Eric G. Wilson argues that melancholia is necessary to any thriving culture, that it is the muse of great literature, painting, music, and innovation--and that it is the force underlying original insights. Francisco Goya, Emily Dickinson, Marcel Proust, and Abraham Lincoln were all confirmed melancholics. So enough Prozac-ing of our brains. Let's embrace our depressive sides as the wellspring of creativity. What most people take for contentment, Wilson argues, is living death, and what the majority takes for depression is a vital force. In Against Happiness: In Praise of Melancholy, Wilson suggests it would be better to relish the blues that make humans people. Eric G. Wilson is the Thomas H. Pritchard Professor of English at Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. The recipient of several important awards, including a National Humanities Center year-long fellowship, he is the author of five books on the relationship between literature and psychology. Consumer trends and popular medical and psychological interests indicate that Americans are addicted to happiness. At an increasing rate, they pop pills, seek both clinical and non-traditional therapies, read recent scientific studies that take for granted the population's quest for happiness, or buy self-help books by everyone from armchair philosophers and clinical psychologists to the Dalai Lama on how to achieve a trouble-free life: "Stumbling on Happiness," "Happiness: Using the New Positive Psychology to Realize Your Potential for Lasting Fulfillment"; "The Art of Happiness: A Handbook for Living." The titles themselves draw a stark portrait of the war on melancholy.
More than any other generation, Americans today believe in the transformative power of positive thinking. Happiness is considered a liberty, if not an ultimate life goal. But the scholar Eric G. Wilson argues that melancholia is necessary to any thriving culture, that it is the muse of great literature, painting, music, and innovation--and that it is the force underlying original insights. Francisco Goya, Emily Dickinson, Marcel Proust, and Abraham Lincoln--all confirmed melancholics.
What most people take for contentment, Wilson argues, is living death, and what the majority sees as depressive is a vital force that inspires creativity, spurs ambition, and helps people form more intimate bonds with one another. It's time to throw off the shackles of positivity and relish the blues that make us human. "Mr. Wilson's basic thesis is that, without suffering, the human soul becomes stagnant and empty . . . We must live between the poles of sadness and joy and not try to expunge misery from our lives. Mr. Wilson makes a strong case . . . to deny our essential sadness in the face of a tragic world is to suppress a large part of what we are as human beings."--Colin McGinn, "The Wall Street Journal"" " "Utilitarianism is the philosophical doctrine according to which happiness is the sole intrinsic value--the only thing that is good in itself. Although invented by 19th-century Britons, notably Jeremy Bentham and J.S. Mill, utilitarianism has some claim to be the official philosophy of the U.S.A. or, as a philosopher might have it, the 'Utilitarian States of America.' In America, happiness is what makes life good, and unhappiness is what makes it bad. We must therefore seize the former and avoid the latter. Eric G. Wilson, a professor of English at Wake Forest University, disagrees, contending that utilitarianism has it the wrong way around. The 'happy types, ' as he calls them, are apt to be bland, superficial, static, hollow, one-sided, bovine, acquisitive, deluded and foolish. Sold on the ideal of the happy smile and the cheerful salutation, they patrol the malls in dull uniformity, zombie-like, searching for contentment and pleasure, locked inside their own dreams of a secure and unblemished world, oblivious to objective reality, cocooned in a protective layer of bemused well-being . . . Mr. Wilson's basic thesis is that, without suffering, the human soul becomes stagnant and empty. We can only reach our full potential through pain--not a pathological kind of pain but the kind that comes from a recognition of death, decay and the bad day (or decade). We must live between the poles of sadness and joy and not try to expunge misery from our lives. Mr. Wilson makes a strong case for this anti-utilitarianism, in prose both spare and lavish. (Of Coleridge he writes: 'He was hurt into these sublimities. He was axed into ecstasy.') And indeed, to deny our essential sadness in the face of a tragic world is to suppress a large part of what we are as human beings. It is to retreat into a fearful solipsism, refusing to peep out into the world beyond--an approach to life that is all the more fatuous in that it can never succeed . . . Mr. Wilson's case for the dark night of the soul brings a much needed corrective to today's mania for cheerfulness. One would almost say that, in its eloquent contrarianism and earnest search for meaning, "Against Happiness" lifts the spirits."--Colin McGinn, "The Wall Street Journal""
" Wilson has] the passionate soul of a nineteenth-century
This celebrated New York Times bestseller -- now poised to reach an even wider audience in paperback -- is a book that is changing the way Americans think about selling products and disseminating ideas.
"As sweet and funny and sad and true and heartfelt a memoir as one could find." --from the foreword by Augusten Burroughs
Ever since he was young, John Robison longed to connect with other people, but by the time he was a teenager, his odd habits--an inclination to blurt out non sequiturs, avoid eye contact, dismantle radios, and dig five-foot holes (and stick his younger brother, Augusten Burroughs, in them)--had earned him the label "social deviant." It was not until he was forty that he was diagnosed with a form of autism called Asperger's syndrome. That understanding transformed the way he saw himself--and the world. A born storyteller, Robison has written a moving, darkly funny memoir about a life that has taken him from developing exploding guitars for KISS to building a family of his own. It's a strange, sly, indelible account--sometimes alien yet always deeply human.
Intuition is not some magical and mysterious property that arises unbidden from the depths of our mind. This book shows us how we can hone our instinctive ability to know in an instant, helping us to bring out the best in our thinking and become better decision-makers in our everyday life.