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Levick, S.E. (2013). Jason W. Brown: Neuropsychological Foundations of Consciousness. Belgium: Les Editions Chromatika, 2010. ISBN: 978-2-930517-07-0, 364 pp., €36 (pbk.).. Neuropsychoanalysis, 15(1):101-102.

(2013). Neuropsychoanalysis, 15(1):101-102

Book Reviews

Jason W. Brown: Neuropsychological Foundations of Consciousness. Belgium: Les Editions Chromatika, 2010. ISBN: 978-2-930517-07-0, 364 pp., €36 (pbk.).

Review by:
Stephen E. Levick

Ludwig Wittgenstein concluded his Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus with the provocative and enigmatic assertion: “Whereof one cannot speak, thereof one must be silent.” Yet some do try to speak of the ineffable. Some poets and artists, apprehending something of it, are able to give us limited access to it in their creations. The courageous individual in psychotherapy gives voice to what had been preconsciously ineffable, and sometimes unspeakable. A different sort of bravery is shown by pioneers in scientific and clinical theory. They have the audacity to articulate novel ways of understanding processes and phenomena that the rest of us either ignored or thought we understood well enough.

Among such pioneers, I include Jason W. Brown. His brilliant theory of the microgenesis of mind/brain processes germinated in his study of that group of neurologically based syndromes of ineffability that we call aphasia. He laid out this theory in Brown (1972, 1977). He has further elaborated on it and broadened its application in subsequent books (see also Brown, 2001). Neuropsychological Foundations of Consciousness —the subject of this review—is the most recent.

Wrapping one's mind around Brown's ideas is a thrilling though sometimes daunting endeavor. The author himself warns the reader explicitly: “Much of microgenetic theory is a challenge to common sense belief.” So, to the reader, I say: suspend your cherished convictions and read this book with an attitude of innocent wonder.

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