Proust Was a Neuroscientist

  • by Jonah Lehrer
  • Narrated by Dan John Miller
  • 7 hrs and 44 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

In this technology-driven age, it's tempting to believe that science can solve every mystery. After all, science has cured countless diseases and even sent humans into space. But as Jonah Lehrer argues in this sparkling debut, science is not the only path to knowledge. In fact, when it comes to understanding the brain, art got there first.Taking a group of artists - a painter, a poet, a chef, a composer, and a handful of novelists - Lehrer shows how each one discovered an essential truth about the mind that science is only now rediscovering.We learn, for example, how Proust first revealed the fallibility of memory; how George Eliot discovered the brain's malleability; how the French chef Escoffier identified umami (the fifth taste); how C├ęzanne worked out the subtleties of vision; and how Gertrude Stein exposed the deep structure of language - a full half-century before the work of Noam Chomsky and other linguists. It's the ultimate tale of art trumping science.More broadly, Lehrer shows that there's a cost to reducing everything to atoms and acronyms and genes. Measurement is not the same as understanding, and this is what art knows better than science.An ingenious blend of biography, criticism, and first-rate science writing, Proust Was a Neuroscientist urges science and art to listen more closely to each other, for willing minds can combine the best of both, to brilliant effect.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

We don't need a new definition of neuroscience ...

Very interesting attempt of reconciliating science and art. However, being a neuroscientist myself, I am rather dissapointed. I was looking forward to interesting insights/discussion, bringing both fields closer together. Instead, it seems like the author would like to make a point out of that artists/artisans are smart ( of course they are)and science can only hope to finally prove what the artists knew all along...
I enjoyed listening and the book is both well written and read. thanks, I really appreciate it!
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- Eva

Excellent Book

Not sure what the others are griping about in regards to the narrator.

The book is completely fascinating, connecting some dots that I had already thought about. Amazing how it dovetails nicely with the book "On Intelligence". If you are fascinated by the mind, by how we think and perceive then this is definitely a book you want to listen to.
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- Mark D. Jones

Book Details

  • Release Date: 09-01-2008
  • Publisher: Brilliance Audio