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Finding Consciousness: The Neuroscience, Ethics, and Law of Severe Brain Damage (Oxford Series in Neuroscience, Law, and Philosophy)

Editat de Walter Sinnott-Armstrong
Notă Books Express:  5.00 · o notă - 1 recenzie  
Notă GoodReads:
en Limba Engleză Hardback – 10 Mar 2016
Modern medicine enables us to keep many people alive after they have suffered severe brain damage and show no reliable outward signs of consciousness. Many such patients are misdiagnosed as being in a permanent vegetative state when they are actually in a minimally conscious state. This mistake has far-reaching implications for treatment and prognosis. To alleviate this problem, neuroscientists have recently developed new brain-scanning methods for detectingconsciousness in some of these patients and even for asking them questions, including "Do you want to stay alive?" These new technological abilities raise many questions about what exactly these methods reveal (Is it really consciousness?), how reliable they are (Do they fail to detect consciousness in somepatients who are conscious?), what are these patients' lives like (Do they feel pain?), what we should do for and to these patients (Should we let them die?), who should decide (Are these patients competent to decide for themselves?), and which policies should governments and hospitals enact (Which kinds of treatment should be made available?). All of these questions and more are addressed in this collection of original papers. The prominent contributors provide background information, surveythe issues and positions, and take controversial stands from a wide variety of perspectives, including neuroscience and neurology, law and policy, and philosophy and ethics. This collection should interest not only academics but anyone who might suffer brain damage, which includes us all.
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ISBN-13: 9780190280307
ISBN-10: 0190280301
Pagini: 280
Dimensiuni: 163 x 240 x 22 mm
Greutate: 0.55 kg
Editura: Oxford University Press
Colecția OUP USA
Seria Oxford Series in Neuroscience, Law, and Philosophy

Locul publicării: New York, United States

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Anonim a dat nota:

This book is full of fascinating information. Wetware is a book about the cell, it discusses the mechanics of signal transmission, the relationships between the various parts of the cell and the emergent phenomenon that result from a cell's architecture on a case by case basis from protazoa and amoeba to our nerve cells. The commentary describes both the complexity of the cell in terms of its adaptability to a diverse ecosystem as well as the plausible origins of how such complexity evolved. The book argues a strong evolutionary case about life and its origins. Most of the book is very readable and gives the non-expert an insight into how through diffusion cells react and signals are processed. Cases are studied and the strategies of such single celled organisms such as the ameoba are discussed in strong detail. Examples of environmental sensitivity are discussed and "intelligence" to the extent that even single cells have architecture that allow them to dynamically adapt are explored. The exploration of the single cell is the most interesting, likely because it can be studied in isolation and thus its easier to discuss a single cells properties than a multi-celled organism. The book goes through a lot of interesting material, it discusses RNA, protein structures and dynamics and neural networks. The Neural networks portion is a good overview of how they work and how they can be used in a machine setting to obtain interesting results. As the book gets into the multicelled aspect, the quality doesnt go down so much as the material can be slightly overwhelming. Despite that, the themes of the book can still be gleaned despite some of the specifics being a bit hard to follow. One reads this book and really mavels at the complexity of the single cell. The author gives a good example at the end - the fruitfly is able to, with negligble energy, navigate efficiently, the computing power required for humans to replicate that is of a very different order of magnitute. The cell is of microscopic size but astronomical complexity and that is where one must stop in awe and appreciate the amazing depth of life. This book takes the reader on that journey. The author tries to only take what can be observed and doesnt try to fill the gaps with intelligent design. He shows how genetic programming results show that solutions to complicated problems show up unexpectedly in evolutionary settings and that is no evidence of design. I found this book to really revitalize the idea that life is truly astonishing. It is not only astonishing from the perspective of muticelled organisms and our own self awareness, but more foundationally, from the single cell and up. I highly recommend this, it should be read by all.

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Notă biografică

Walter Sinnott-Armstrong is Stillman Professor of Practical Ethics at Duke University in the Philosophy Department, the Kenan Institute for Ethics, the Center for Cognitive Neuroscience, and the Law School. He has served as co-chair of the Board of Officers of the American Philosophical Association and co-director of the MacArthur Law and Neuroscience Project He publishes widely in ethics, moralpsychology and neuroscience, philosophy of law, epistemology, informal logic, and philosophy of religion.