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Panksepp, J. (2003). Antonio Damasio: Looking for Spinoza: Joy, Sorrow, and the Feeling Brain. New York: Harcourt, 2003. ISBN: 0-15-100557-5, 355 pp., $28.00. Neuropsychoanalysis, 5(2):201-215.

(2003). Neuropsychoanalysis, 5(2):201-215

Book Reviews - Edited by Bonnie Smolen and Douglas Watt

Antonio Damasio: Looking for Spinoza: Joy, Sorrow, and the Feeling Brain. New York: Harcourt, 2003. ISBN: 0-15-100557-5, 355 pp., $28.00 Related Papers

Jaak Panksepp

“The Ego is First and Foremost a Body Ego”

Unraveling the innate affective values of the human brain might be the most captivating, and conceptually critical, aspect of the entire mind sciences. In trying to understand the neural foundations for emotional behaviors and emotional experience, one is truly seeking to map out the neural ground of our being. We have seen a critical renaissance in affective neuroscience in the last tn years, as emotion has become increasingly the focus of empirical work, and a subject for major works by leading investigators, one of those leading the way being Antonio Damasio. In this—his third—major contribution to the ongoing discussion of how emotional valuing is organized in the human brain, Antonio Damasio sails gracefully over this increasingly large body of work. As discussions of our emotional nature are again penetrating deeply into the humanities (e.g., McLemee, 2003), many recognize that a common denominator for bringing clarity to this topic is a confrontation with the evolved (inherited) nature of our emotional apparatus which does not neglect nature–nurture interactions and the complex and diverse, socially constructed cultural manifestations of our feelings.

In the present offering, Damasio seeks to captivate those outside the mind sciences, as he continues to argue for the importance of certain brain and body processes in the generation of the many emotional feelings that characterize the pains and satisfactions of individual lives.

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