Burgeoning advancements in brain science are opening up new perspectives on how we acquire knowledge. Indeed, it is now possible to explore consciousness-the very center of human concern-by scientific means. In this illuminating book, Dr. Gerald M. Edelman offers a new theory of knowledge based on striking scientific findings about how the brain works. And he addresses the related compelling question: Does the latest research imply that all knowledge can be reduced to scientific description? Edelman's brain-based approach to knowledge has rich implications for our understanding of creativity, of the normal and abnormal functioning of the brain, and of the connections among the different ways we have of knowing. While the gulf between science and the humanities and their respective views of the world has seemed enormous in the past, the author shows that their differences can be dissolved by considering their origins in brain functions. He foresees a day when brain-based devices will be conscious, and he reflects on this and other fascinating ideas about how we come to know the world and ourselves.
Gerald M. Edelman, M.D., Ph.D., is director, The Neurosciences Institute; president, Neurosciences Research Foundation; and chairman, Department of Neurobiology, The Scripps Research Institute. He has received many honors and awards, including the Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine. He lives in La Jolla, CA.