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Book Title: The Happiness of Pursuit: What Neuroscience Can Teach Us About the Good Life|
The author of the book: Shimon Edelman
ISBN 13: 9780465022243
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 8.74 MB
Edition: Basic Books
Date of issue: January 31st 2012
Read full description of the books The Happiness of Pursuit: What Neuroscience Can Teach Us About the Good Life:When fishing for happiness, catch and release. Remember these seven words—they are the keys to being happy. So says Shimon Edelman, an expert on psychology and the mind. In The Happiness of Pursuit, Edelman offers a fundamental understanding of pleasure and joy via the brain. Using the concept of the mind as a computing device, he unpacks how the human brain is highly active, involved in patterned networks, and constantly learning from experience. As our brains predict the future through pursuit of experience, we are rewarded both in real time and in the long run. Essentially, as Edelman discovers, it's the journey, rather than the destination, that matters.
The idea that cognition is computation—the brain is a machine—is nothing new of course. But, as Edelman argues, the mind is actually a bundle of ongoing computations, essentially, the brain being one of many possible substrates that can support them. Edelman makes the case for these claims by constructing a conceptual toolbox that offers readers a glimpse of the computations underlying the mind's faculties: perception, motivation and emotions, action, memory, thinking, social cognition, learning and language. It is this collection of tools that enables us to discover how and why happiness happens.
An informative, accessible, and witty tour of the mind, The Happiness of Pursuit offers insights to a thorough understanding of what minds are, how they relate to each other and to the world, and how we can make the best of it all.
Read information about the authorIf one takes the death of Stalin to mark the end of the first, darker half of
the 20th century, I was born just as its second half was getting under way, in the
evil empire that he built and that managed to survive for thirty-odd years after the
emperor kicked the bucket. In 1973, just ahead of the Yom Kippur War, my family
emigrated to Israel, where I graduated from high school. I was drafted into the
army and underwent basic training, then got a B.S. in electrical engineering and
returned to the army for five more years (not counting reserve duty). After
discharge (highest rank attained: major, reserve), I went back to school and
earned an M.Sc. and a Ph.D. in computer science. Since then, I taught and
worked in research at the Weizmann Institute of Science in Israel, at MIT, at the
University of Sussex at Brighton in the UK, and at Cornell University, where I
have been a tenured full professor of psychology since 1999. I have also held
visiting positions at Brown University, at MIT, at Tel Aviv University, and at Korea
University in Seoul.
My long-standing research and teaching interests focus on understanding
the brain/mind – a problem that, in my view, encompasses the entirety of the
human condition. It is because of my desire to understand, both scientifically and
intuitively, what makes us human that my research projects are so diverse: I
have worked on specific problems in visual perception, in robotics and AI, in
motor control, in language acquisition, in memory, and in consciousness, striving
at all times to integrate “extracurricular” interests such as my love of nature and
of literature with the science that I am engaged in. My work has led to over a
hundred refereed publications, three edited volumes, and two monographs,
including Computing the Mind: How the Mind Really Works (Oxford University
Press, 2008). Of these, the last one, The Happiness of Pursuit (Basic Books,
2012) is a trade book, which became a Kirkus Reviews starred selection and
“Must-Read in new nonfiction” when it came out.
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