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We are our Brains: From the Womb to Alzheimer's
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978-619-02-0146-5
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Rating (17)
4.2352941176471 17
Format
Paperback
Size
145/213
Weight
412 gr.
Pages
448
Published
26 January 2018

We are our Brains: From the Womb to Alzheimer's

Everything we think, do and refrain from doing is determined by our brain. From religion to sexuality, it shapes our potential, our desires and our characters. Taking us through every stage in our lives, from the womb to falling in love to old age, Dick Swaab shows that we don't just have brains: we are our brains.

'A blockbuster about the brain ... provocative, fascinating, remarkable' Clive Cookson, Financial Times

'A giant in the field' Zoe Williams, Guardian

'Engrossing, intriguing and enlightening' Robin Ince

'Enchantingly written' The Times Higher Education

'Wide-ranging, fun and informative ... as an ice-breaker at parties, it is unmatched' Bryan Appleyard, Sunday Times

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About the Author
Dick  Swaab

Dick Swaab is a professor of neuroscience at the University of Amsterdam. In We Are Our Brains he identifies himself as a “neurocalvinist”. He thinks that everything from gender identity to sexual orientation to a propensity for schizophrenia is neurologically determined in utero. This leads him to make some counter-intuitive pronouncements.

If you are born in the winter, Swaab says, you’re more likely to develop schizophrenia. Exercise is bad for you. The bigger your brain the longer you’ll live. Most antidepressants are no more effective than placebos. Swaab argues that free will is an illusion, and that the social relativism of the Sixties and Seventies, a time when “there was a universal belief in social engineering”, was profoundly misguided. People are born bad or good, mad or sad, and there’s little we can do to change them.

Swaab presents his thesis as a liberating and liberalising doctrine. If people are neurologically “programmed” to be gay or straight then condemning them for their sexual orientation is immoral, and trying to “cure” them is doomed to failure. If people are born good or bad then we should give up on the idea of incarceration as punishment.

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