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Synopsis

Who am “I”?
How is happiness achieved?
What is the key to memory?
How do babies become adults?
Is personality determined?
What function do emotions serve?
Are we hardwired to be moral?

The mind is a riddle that has vexed philosophers, psychologists, biologists, and artists for thousands of years. In this invaluable volume, John Brockman, editor and publisher of Edge, gathers the world’s most influential scientists and thinkers to present their deepest thoughts and cutting-edge theories in short, accessible essays about the essential aspects of human consciousness and the complex workings of the brain.

Contributors and topics include

Steven Pinker on how the human brain works • Martin Seligman on happiness and what it means to live a good life • Philip Zimbardo on the impact of environment on personality • V. S. Ramachandran on the question of self—who “you” are • Simon Baron-Cohen on the innate differences between boys and girls • George Lakoff on the role of the body and brain on different types of reasoning • Alison Gopnik on why human children are the best learning machines in the universe • Jonathan Haidt on the connection between emotions, morality, and religious belief

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