Book: Proust Was a Neuroscientist / Jonah Lehrer


In a series of portraits of avant-garde artists, Lehrer lays out his take on the stormy relationship between Art and Science. I felt like the book taught me many things, due in large part to Lehrer’s crystal clear interpretations of ideas that seem murky or impenetrable in their original expressions. It boils down to the elusive human self – while science will continue to refine our understanding of the mechanics of the self, it does little to help us express the experience of selfhood. Lehrer shows us that artists do this job much better than science gives them credit for, occasionally offering astonishing insights long before any scientific evidence is found for them. I feel comforted by the idea that I always have the option to experiment on myself, and that I may find things there unknowable to me by any other avenue.


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