Customer Service | Help | FAQ | PEP-Easy | Report a Data Error | About
:
Login
Tip: To use Evernote for note taking…

PEP-Web Tip of the Day

Evernote is a general note taking application that integrates with your browser. You can use it to save entire articles, bookmark articles, take notes, and more. It comes in both a free version which has limited synchronization capabilities, and also a subscription version, which raises that limit. You can download Evernote for your computer here. It can be used online, and there’s an app for it as well.

Some of the things you can do with Evernote:

  • Save search-result lists
  • Save complete articles
  • Save bookmarks to articles

 

For the complete list of tips, see PEP-Web Tips on the PEP-Web support page.

Kunstadt, L.P. (1993). Bright Air, Brilliant Fire: On the Matter of the Mind; A Nobel Laureate's Revolutionary Vision of How the Mind Originates in the Brain: By Gerald M. Edelman. New York: Basic Books. 1992. Pp. 280.. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 74:643-647.

(1993). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 74:643-647

Bright Air, Brilliant Fire: On the Matter of the Mind; A Nobel Laureate's Revolutionary Vision of How the Mind Originates in the Brain: By Gerald M. Edelman. New York: Basic Books. 1992. Pp. 280.

Review by:
Lawrence P. Kunstadt

Is this a dagger which I see before me,

The handle toward mine hand? Come, let me clutch thee.

I have thee not, and yet I see thee still.

Art thou not, fatal vision, sensible

To feeling as to sight? or art thou but

A dagger of the mind, a false creation?

Proceeding from the heat-oppressed brain?

Macbeth

Incited by his wife to murder gentle King Duncan, inflamed by her affronts to his manhood and racked with guilt, Macbeth hallucinates the weapon of death. Therein lies a telling difference between psychoanalysis and neurobiology. For no matter how well we come to know the brain, can our knowledge ever account for the regicidal, and presumably parricidal, wish and its participation in intrapsychic conflicts?

In contrast to neurobiology, which is an inquiry into mechanism, psychoanalysis is at minimum a psychology of meaning, especially personal meaning. So the question is, while neurobiology cannot account for meaning, can the mind therefore be understood without recourse to biology? Edelman argues that meaning outside of Darwinian evolution and epigenetic development is incomplete. The brain being the organ of meaning, understanding mechanisms of brain functioning are necessary to understand the mind. This is not an obvious matter, even for people who try to understand the brain/mind problem.

In a fundamental, critical and extended attack, Edelman undermines current functionalist (that the brain operates on formal logical algorithms), objectivist (that the brain accurately and in a one-to-one correspondence, reflects relations and categories of extemal reality), and, particularly, 'brain-as-computer' theories—which, in a certain way, are all wayward sons of Le Mettrie's 1747 view of animals and people as mechanical machines.

[This is a summary or excerpt from the full text of the book or article. The full text of the document is available to subscribers.]

Copyright © 2020, Psychoanalytic Electronic Publishing, ISSN 2472-6982 Customer Service | Help | FAQ | Download PEP Bibliography | Report a Data Error | About

WARNING! This text is printed for personal use. It is copyright to the journal in which it originally appeared. It is illegal to redistribute it in any form.