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FREE: Why There is No You Inside Your Head by Bruce Hood download and reviews

'Wonderful. Illuminating. Full of insight, beauty, and humour. Get to know thyself.'

Why There is No You Inside Your Head
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Most of us believe that we possess a self - an internal individual who resides inside our bodies, making decisions, authoring actions and possessing free will. The feeling that a single, unified, enduring self inhabits the body - the 'me' inside me - is compelling and inescapable. This is how we interact as a social animal and judge each other's actions and deeds.

But that sovereignty of the self is increasingly under threat from science as our understanding of the brain advances. Rather than a single entity, the self is really a constellation of mechanisms and experiences that create the illusion of the internal you.

We only emerge as a product of those around us as part of the different story lines we inhabit from the cot to the grave. It is an every changing character, created by the brain to provide a coherent interface between the multitude of internal processes and the external world demands that require different selves.

'Wonderful. Illuminating. Full of insight, beauty, and humour. Get to know thyself.' David Eagleman, author of Sum

'Startling and engrossing.' Robin Ince

Why There is No 'You' Inside Your Head (Non fiction)
Bruce Hood (Author)
customer reviews (Yes)
Print List Price: £2.95
Kindle Price: £0.00 
includes free wireless delivery
You Save: £2.95 (100%)
Text-to-Speech: Enabled
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Reviews from Amazon:

A really interesting and intriguing short book ,which tackles what can be a difficult concept in a very readable way. The brain and it's" reality construct" is well explained, but this is not a "dry" sort of narrative, and has plenty of humour, especially in relation to the account of the real characters,who seem to prefer to live" virtual lives" in a computer game, which seems to dominate ,what now could possibly have become more of their"selves",than exists in what we would normally consider the"real" world.

The book is a great combination of education, and entertainment, which leaves you feeling that the film "The Matrix"may have been surprisingly prophetic.
This is offered as a taster for the full book ,(soon to be published),and I for one am looking forward to that.
Fascinating look at how the brain works and what the 'self' is inside it (or otherwise). Professor Hood puts forward the view that the 'self' is really just a construct of the brain. This might be controversial and whilst still science his work takes the reader to the edge of philosophy.

Hood reveals plenty along the way such as "We now know that the unborn baby can learn the sound of their mother's voice, develop a preference for the food she eats while pregnant and even remember the theme tune to the TV soap operas she watches while waiting for the big day to arrive."

Fans of The Matrix will be delighted to learn that it is 'not that far off the mark when it comes to understanding the nature of the human mind' according to the Professor. Indeed Hood is very excited about the internet "I tell my own children that they are living during one of the major transitions in human civilization, that humankind is currently in the midst of the next great evolutionary leap." 

Probably he didn't mean to sound Maoist there. This inspiring work is well worth a read, as Hood observes 'It is one of most exciting times to be alive in the history of humankind.'

No prior knowledge of neuroscience is required, we learn a bit about dopamine and how it makes the anticipation of reward more satisfying than reward itself. Just as well , Professor Hood promises us a fuller version of this free ebook later in the year.
I enjoyed reading this freebie. There are plenty of interesting stories/anecdotes which the author uses to support his basic thesis; it is also very well written.

However, there is little here that those with an interest in the subject have not come across before. In and of itself that's not a problem - this kindle edition is after all an extract not the complete work.
The bigger problem is the depth of analysis of the core arguments. 

The author's essential points, as I understood them, appears to be no more than the following : we behave differently in different environments (you don't act in the same way at a football match as at a funeral). As such there is no single "YOU". Similarly, the brain filters in and out the mass of information that we perceive. As such the world, as we perceive it, is an "illusion" created by our brains.

These are fair, if unoriginal, points. However, the way they are covered in the extract doesn't encourage me to buy the book from which (I assume) it is drawn : there may well be no real "me"; "I" may be no more than firing neurons. But that is so counter-intuitive as to require more depth of analysis than presented here to be persuasive. 

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