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By Charles G. Gross

Neuroscientist Charles Gross has been drawn to the heritage of his box for the reason that his days as an undergraduate. A gap within the Head is the second one number of essays within which he illuminates the learn of the mind with attention-grabbing episodes from the earlier. This volume's stories variety from the background of trepanation (drilling a gap within the cranium) to neurosurgery as painted via Hieronymus Bosch to the invention that bats navigate utilizing echolocation.

The emphasis is on blind alleys and mistakes in addition to triumphs and discoveries, with old practices hooked up to fresh advancements and controversies. Gross first reaches again into the beginnings of neuroscience, then takes up the interplay of paintings and neuroscience, exploring, between different issues, Rembrandt's "Anatomy Lesson" work, and at last, examines discoveries via scientists whose paintings was once scorned of their personal time yet confirmed right in later eras.

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It received just ten words in the 642 pages of Guttenplan (1994) A Companion to the Philosophy of Mind), and it has little influence on current Western psychology and philosophy. However, as with dual-aspect theory and neutral monism, I have re-introduced idealism on the grounds that, even viewed from the perspective of Western science, it is not entirely wrong. A version of idealism is to be found, for example, in the ‘Copenhagen’ interpretation of quantum mechanics (see Chapter 2), and, while it may be absurd to suggest that the existence of the macroscopic material world depends on its being perceived, it is not absurd to suggest that this is true of the phenomenal world (the world as perceived).

The problems of dualist-interactionism 1 Dualism tells us little about the nature of consciousness Within dualism the ontological nature of consciousness, mind, or soul remains essentially mysterious. According to Descartes, it is res cogitans. But what kind of ‘substance’ is a ‘substance that thinks’? In his clean separation of res cogitans from res extensa (the stuff of the material world), Descartes is often thought to have ushered in the modern era. The stuff of the world is purely mechanical, following mathematically describable laws.

Needless to say, this attempt to solve a mystery by recourse to a deeper one has few adherents in modern scientific thought. Given our state of incomplete knowledge about consciousness, mind and physical matter, one cannot rule out the possibility that such interactions take place. 6 According to Hart (1995), consciousness might itself be a ‘form of energy’ currently unknown to physics, in which case conservation of energy would have to include the energy of consciousness, and transforms from physical to consciousness energies could, in principle, be found.

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A Hole in the Head: More Tales in the History of Neuroscience by Charles G. Gross


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