the brain ‘speaking to itself’


In Second Nature, Nobel ­Prize–­winning neuroscientist Gerald Edelman proposes what he calls ­“brain-­based epistemology,” which aims at solving the mystery of how we acquire knowledge by grounding it in an understanding of how the brain ­works.

Edelman’s title is, in part, meant “to call attention to the fact that our thoughts often float free of our realistic descriptions of nature,” even as he sets out to explore how the mind and the body interact. He favors the idea that the brain and mind are unified, but has little patience with the claim that the brain is a computer. Fortunately for the general reader, his explanations of brain function are accessible, buttressed by concrete examples and ­metaphors.

more from the Wilson Quarterly here.