Descartes' Error, Paperback Book
3.5 out of 5 (1 rating)


In the centuries since Descartes famously proclaimed, 'I think, therefore I am,' science has often overlooked emotions as the source of a person's true being.

Even modern neuroscience has tended until recently to concentrate on the cognitive aspects of brain function, disregarding emotions.

This attitude began to change with the publication of "Descartes' Error".

Antonio Damasio challenged traditional ideas about the connection between emotions and rationality.

In this wonderfully engaging book, Damasio takes the reader on a journey of scientific discovery through a series of case studies, demonstrating what many of us have long suspected: emotions are not a luxury, they are essential to rational thinking and to normal social behaviour.


  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Vintage Publishing
  • Publication Date:
  • Category: Philosophy of mind
  • ISBN: 9780099501640

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A fascinating tour through some now sadly slightly dated research into brain function. This was the book which popularised the story of Phineas Gage, and it tells the story very well; much of the subsequent sections of the book advance Damasio's own "somatic marker hypothesis", which now seems somewhat laboured in light of its current general acceptance. Still, a useful book to read if you're trying to understand the background to much current neurological research.