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Book Group Discussion: "Age of Insight" by Eric Kandel (2012). first half

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Monday, October 20, 2014 - 2:00pm to 4:00pm

Age of Insight: The Quest to Understand the Unconscious in Art, Mind, and Brain, from Vienna 1900 to the Present, by Eric Kandel (2012). We will discuss the first half (up to p. 225) in October and the second half in November. Vienna in about 1900 fostered unusual cross-disciplinary interaction between artists and scientists, leading to the first real thinking about the importance of the unconscious. Kandel traces these beginnings through to the present and the new neuroscience, including discussion of the arts.


Since Toni enthusiastically recommended this book, I looked for information and reviews on the internet. This book is long but readable, multidisciplinary (especially art, psychology and neuroscience), insightful about history (Vienna at turn of century, 20th century ideas) and how human brains do visual art. Wait until available in paperback and/or lower prices? The pictures in the hardback version are beautiful and I hope they are preserved then the book is out in paperback.

After reading Eric Kandel's earlier book, "In search of Memory" I want to read more by him. His insights into Vienna and the Arts as well as brain science will be of interest to most of us. The book is long and I think we would benefit from splitting it up into two sessions. It remains at the high end of cost ($13 to $32), so we may want to wait a bit longer until the price goes down. However, these prices are not bad for two months of reading.