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Absence Of Mind: The Dispelling Of Inwardness From The Modern Myth Of The Self (2010)

by Marilynne Robinson(Favorite Author)
3.76 of 5 Votes: 4
0300145187 (ISBN13: 9780300145182)
Yale University Press
review 1: As usual, Marilynne Robinson's point of view--in this case on the question of our current cultural assumptions about the human mind--is refreshingly original, steeped in scholarship and deep reading, and thought-provoking. She places the current positivist, "parascientific" worldview in context, examining such influential voices as E.O. Wilson, Daniel Dennett, Stephen Pinker, down to Freud and Descartes, and ultimately concludes that there may be more to the story than pure science can offer. Neuroscience and evolutionary psychology would have us believe that the mind is basically an illusion, and that we aren't to trust it; she counters this by pointing to the evidence of human civilization--art, literature, music, architecture, all of culture--and offers a liberating vis... moreion of a "humankind large enough to acknowledge some small fragment of the mystery we are."
review 2: I don't know whether perfection is possible this side of the New Heavens and New Earth, but Robinson has perfect prose. I will need to read this again, as it is dense and packed full of goodies. Overall, though, it is an outstanding refutation of the Freudian and neo-Darwinian reduction of humans to biological robots. Robinson calls both of these schools "para-science" and shows how they assume much, and prove very little in their efforts to reduce human behaviour to mere 'urges' or 'drives.' less
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Not as good as 'Death of Adam,' but very worthwhile nonetheless.
Has anyone written a serious response to this book?
Smart lady.
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