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19 MIN READ TIME

Who Are You?

Basic Books, 2018. 304 pp. $30. ISBN-13: 978-0465052684

THE STATED MISSION OF THE MIT Center for Neurobiological Engineering is “to reverse engineer the human brain.” The director of the center, Alan Jasonoff, is a biophysicist and the author of The Biological Mind, the stated mission of which is to refute “a false idealization of this organ and its singular significance—a phenomenon I call the cerebral mystique [emphasis in the original].” Jasonoff explicitly acknowledges Betty Friedan’s pivotal Feminine Mystique as the predecessor he means to echo. I’d guess that The Cerebral Mystique was the book’s original title, as its present title doesn’t really convey what the book is actually about, and the subtitle (“How Brain, Body, and Environment Collaborate to Make Us Who We Are”) is even further off the mark.

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A Review of Steven Pinker’s Enlightenment Now: The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism, and Progress
Reviews of The Equations of Life: How Physics Shapes Evolution by Charles S. Cockell, and The Human Instinct: How We Evolved to Have Reason, Consciousness, and Free Will by Kenneth R. Miller
Review of SCAM: So-Called Alternative Medicine by Edzard Ernst
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