Inventing the Self

Damasio & Blackmore

September 17th, 2013 by Gabriel R. Seijo · No Comments

Antonio Damasio seems to be on a genuine quest for balance. His stance is social, his structure academic, his style exquisitely populated by metaphor and simile. Reading him can be compared to speaking to a very elderly individual who has lived long enough to cherish every aspect of life, and with time has learned that sharing the acquired knowledge is the best way to help life in society improve. Everything in his text, from the cover and the worn-out style of the side of the pages, to the academic structure decorated with poetic images, seems to be a direct critic to the elitist and overtly intellectual rhetoric that past academic cultures have seemed to sustain and promote.

Jumps through a singular and plural narrator can go almost unnoticed, but have the effect of creating a collective absorption of knowledge, and at the same time maintain a humble distance between reader and neuroscientist. In concordance with last week’s discussion, a gender-biased style is hard to identify, with precaution of not to say absent. The constant reflecting and orienting of key terms makes the unimaginable seem extremely simple. His limited use of sources illustrates a mastery of the topic, and also a dedication to the consistent development of original ideas.

On the other hand, Susan Blackmore appears with a cut through the chase, straightforward rhetoric that has no time for doubt. She is defending a thesis that can be very much debated and problematized, and her strong attitude conveys her validity. Very active story telling and the back and forth interaction with her selves brings closer to reality the shocking assertion of an illusory self. Her discourse seems as good example to demonstrate how eloquence affects the ability to convince.

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