Lessons from an Optical Illusion: On Nature and Nurture, Knowledge and Values by Edward M. Hundert (Paperback, 1997)
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- DescriptionFacts are facts, we often say with certainty; but values--well, they're relative. But every day we are confronted with situations where these simple distinctions begin to blur--whether our concerns are the roots of crime and violence, the measure of intelligence, the causes of disease, the threat and promise of genetic engineering. Where do our facts end and our values begin? Recent developments in neuroscience have begun to shed light on this confusion, by radically revising our tions of where human nature ends and human nurture begins. As Edward Hundert--a philosopher, psychiatrist, and award-winning educator--makes clear in this eloquent interdisciplinary work, the newly emerging model for the interactions of brain and environment has ermous implications for our understanding of who we are, how we kw, and what we value. Lessons from an Optical Illusion is a bold modern recasting of the age-old nature-nurture debate, informed by revolutionary insights from brain science, artificial intelligence, psychiatry, linguistics, evolutionary biology, child development, ethics, and even cosmology. As this radical new synthesis unfolds, we are introduced to characters ranging from Immanuel Kant to Gerald Edelman, from Charles Darwin to Sigmund Freud, from Jean Piaget to Stephen Hawking, from Socrates to Jonas Salk. Traversing the nature-nurture terrain, we encounter simulated robots, optical illusions, game theory, the anthropic principle, the prisoner's dilemma, and the language instinct. In the course of Hundert's wide-ranging exploration, the comfortable dichotomies that once made sense (objectivity-subjectivity, heredity-environment, fact-value) break down under sharp analysis, as he reveals the startling degree to which facts are our creations and values are woven into the fabric of the world. Armed with an updated understanding of how we became who we are and how we kw what we kw, readers are challenged to confront anew the eternal question of what it means to live a moral life.
- Author BiographyEdward M. Hundert is Professor of Psychiatry and Medical Humanities and Senior Associate Dean for Medical Education, University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry.
- Author(s)Edward M. Hundert
- PublisherHarvard University Press
- Date of Publication06/03/1997
- SubjectPsychology: Professional & General
- Place of PublicationCambridge, Mass
- Country of PublicationUnited States
- ImprintHarvard University Press
- Content Note16 halftones, 11 line illustrations
- Weight372 g
- Width143 mm
- Height222 mm
- Spine15 mm
- Format DetailsTrade paperback (US)
- Edition StatementNew edition
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