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Re: Chapter One

Posted by Honore on June 22, 2007, at 9:13:07

In reply to Re: Chapter One DAisym, posted by Dinah on June 21, 2007, at 23:47:40

So far as I can tell, Chapter one is pretty introductory-- giving a very short historical summary of approaches to the mind-- and therefore to love, as a mental process.

It's definitely anti-Freudian-- but then, to seem even-handed, they want to say something negative about "factual" approaches to the brain-- so they say they tend to be "alienating," cold and reductionistic.

They offer an alternative: ie if something proves useful in helping people, then it's worth subscribing to. They therefore oppose pragmatism to both pure science or pure speculation.

They plan to search through the sea of inchoate data surrendered so far by neuroscience, and to sift it according to its usefulness to patients (ie real people, in their practices, I presume). If they find insights or even theories to guide practice, then this would be the substance of the book.

I get this feeling of "on the one hand"... "on the other hand"-ishness about Chapter one-- they feel swamped by the plethora of disjointed and somehow trivial scientific facts, in a body of science which hasn't evolved very far. But they dislike absurd, speculative systsems that aren't fact-based (like Freud). They don't want to go too far in any direction, so as to avoid the Scylla of fantasy but also the Charybdis of cold, distanced science.

I do think unless they show that their pragmatic version of science-- and how therapy works, as explained from a scientific point of view-- isn't buttressed by sophisticated analysis taken from the latest (more or less) neuroscience, I'd be pretty disappointed. But, I'm expecting a very touch-feely version of science-- a "story of science" that veers away from being too scientific-- because they associate that with reductionism, treating "spiritual" problems with Prozac, etc.

But I hope it surprises me with lots of interesting information.





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