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The Ghost in the Machine

The Ghost in the Machine By Arthur Koestler The Ghost in the Machine Koestler examines the notion that the parts of the human brain structure which account for reason and emotion are not fully coordinated This kind of deficiency may explain the paranoia violence and

  • Title: The Ghost in the Machine
  • Author: Arthur Koestler
  • ISBN: 9780140191929
  • Page: 384
  • Format: Paperback
  • The Ghost in the Machine By Arthur Koestler Koestler examines the notion that the parts of the human brain structure which account for reason and emotion are not fully coordinated This kind of deficiency may explain the paranoia, violence, and insanity that are central parts of human history, according to Koestler s challenging analysis of the human predicament.
    The Ghost in the Machine By Arthur Koestler

    • ☆ The Ghost in the Machine ✓ Arthur Koestler
      384 Arthur Koestler

    One thought on “The Ghost in the Machine

    1. Chrissy on said:

      I have to start by pointing out a serious rift between why I was recommended this book and why I kept reading it a philosophy major drunkenly trying to defend free will told me I might be impressed by the book s arguments, and I took it as a challenge I d love to see an intelligent response to determinism, a sharp knife to poke at the thick skin of my convictions.To be frank, I did not find that in this book.Koestler s arguments against determinism are, to my perspective, peripheral to the bulk [...]

    2. Mark Longo on said:

      I m a little torn on this one At times, Koestler s brilliance dazzles, as when he describes his conception of holons , Janus faced part holes ubiquitous in natural systems His deconstruction of behaviorism is also quite entertaining, and devastating, though dated by now And overall, the book is filled with piercing insights by a thoughtful and perceptive author However, there s also a whole lot of crap in this book, just flat out nonsense, particularly as related to evolutionary theory Perhaps m [...]

    3. Tony on said:

      Koestler, Arthur THE GHOST IN THE MACHINE 1967 Koestler was born in Budapest in 1905 and spent his early career as a journalist In the early 1930s he joined the Communist Party, but was soon disillusioned by the atrocities committed by Stalin He resigned from the party and published a novel, Darkness at Noon, which decried the existence of a totalitarian ruling party The novel rocketed him to fame and he went on to devote the rest of his career to writing He had a major interest in the various t [...]

    4. Adam on said:

      I remember this book was very dense and academic not scientifically so, but his writing style is pretty arch, if I remember correctly but very interesting It s either about neurobiology, psychology, or metaphysics, or all three I recommend it, I think And since I m the only one so far to have written a review of it, you re just going to have to trust me.

    5. Gaelan D'costa on said:

      I intuitively agree with Arthur Koestler s organization of psychological, individual and sociological units into holons which appear unified from one direction and distributed into separate pieces from the other.I also agree with his summation that the integrative tendencies of man have, though necessary, produced far upset in this world than the self assertive tendencies of individuals.The book is dated, so there are debatable assumptions that stem from eurocentrism, the continued existeance o [...]

    6. John on said:

      Chances are that brain function knowledge has improved since the 60s when Koestler wrote this But armed with what was known then, this book makes a strong scientific case for what Kurt Vonnegut always liked to say, that our biggest problem is that our brains are too big for our own good Behind the scenes is Koestler s obsession with how someone as intelligent as himself could have been duped into being an active member of the Communist Party at the height of Stalin s purges, but I think that obs [...]

    7. W.B. on said:

      A nonpareil example of interdisciplinary writing The year in the think tank for Koestler issued in an amazing book The challenges to straightforward Darwinian evolution put forth by a man of letters are cogent than those put forward by many better trained scientists true, he was utilitizing and synthesizing information gained directly from scientists in that think tank experiment A missed classic If the science he puts forward here is repeatable, this is going to be one of those examples where [...]

    8. Marc on said:

      Koestler examines the notion that the parts of the human brain structure which account for reason and emotion are not fully coordinated This kind of deficiency may explain the paranoia, violence, and insanity that are central parts of human history, according to Koestler s challenging analysis of the human predicament Masterful An excellent discussion of the pitfalls of Behaviorism and the many facets of biology, anthropology, and evolution.

    9. David Balfour on said:

      This is well worth reading but it s still a bit of a disappointment The first book in the Act of Creation is one of my favourite books so I had high expectations for Ghost in the Machine and it begins very promisingly Koestler s criticism of Behaviourism and his section on the Poverty of Psychology are spot on The Holon is an incredibly useful idea which I had already understood intuitively and it was a delight to see it explained so well Things go downhill soon after, however There s a very ted [...]

    10. Dan on said:

      Koestler himself is not a scientist, but he is very interested in science, and particularly in how the human mind works In this book, Koestler explores on the intellectual, emotional and creative processes of the mind, employing ideas from such fields as psychology, biology, physics and art in an analysis of how we organize knowledge and how we think Koestler s writing is clear, and he employs both examples and diagrams to supply concreteness to his arguments.

    11. Steve on said:

      Well, that was an interesting ride Koestler is definitely what I would call an armchair academic Well read, fun to talk to at parties, full of fascinating ideas not quite sure quite sure if the ideas are right though, but that s okay, they are just so interesting to talk to.I read this book because I love Ghost in the Shell and wanted to read the book which inspired, at least the title Imagine my surprise when the book mentions that the title came from Prof Gilbert s book, The Concept of the Min [...]

    12. Tracy on said:

      The Lay Person s view is that this book is incredible It is fascinating, thought provoking, intriguing, and from a perspective of the end of 2015 the most frightening thing I have ever read.I will admit that the content is dated that the idea of mass psychopharmaceuticals potentially in the drinking water has a definite 1960 s feel But removing suggestions that would have been perfectly natural during the 1960s counter culture revolution, the rest is eye opening to say the least.Most reviewers a [...]

    13. Satish Bagal on said:

      Arthur Koestler wrote literature and fiction in nineteen forties and early nineteen fifties In late fifties he turned to science In The Ghost in the Machine he concludes, and I feel he does so without much conviction, that the human race, owing to some faults defects during evolution, may be marching to its early end Much has happened in science since Koestler wrote in the sixties and seventies Indeed of late Harvard psychologist Steven Pinker very forcefully and convincingly argued that the hum [...]

    14. Nuno on said:

      Koestler makes some amazing arguments on the structure and evolution of life really worth reading He seems to be one of the pioneers behind some of the concepts that inspired multi agent systems and artificial intelligence from a philosophical standpoint.Regardless of the great discussions and insight given by Koestler, his writing is sometimes peculiar perhaps because it is from 1950s , which made it hard to understand and follow some parts of the book I suspect however, that s mostly because o [...]

    15. Mark Maguire on said:

      A difficult but fascinating work, written by one of the most influential and important authors within the field The Author s critique of the Behavioural Shool Positivist methodology, and Passive Darwinism are as detailed as they are apposite I certainly feel able to contribute to existing debates within the field as a result of reading this book A fascinating book, which will act as a foundation for further studies in this area.

    16. Mark Singer on said:

      Just thinking about this book makes my brain hurt 8 In brief, here it is Koestler, a brilliant polymath but not a scientist, posits a theory that flawed development of the brain has left humanity with a tendency for self destruction.

    17. David on said:

      A trip down memory lane for the reviewer but the theories are now a little dated, excepting for the essay On Not Flogging Dead Horsesat s still well worth the read Recommended for Koestler fans 4 out of 5 stars.

    18. Oliver Wood on said:

      Via years of research at various symposiums and tutorials, Ghost in the Machine sees Athur Koestler take on some of the big topics of evolutionary biology and philosophy of mind The book starts out with some fairly straightforward refutations of behavioursm Although Koestler s couldn t have known at the time, these might have been left out altogether since the theory will have gone out of fashion 20 years later But it s what follows after the examination of behaviourism that s integral to the ma [...]

    19. M.R. Dowsing on said:

      I struggled a little at the beginning of this, but gradually got really into it A very difficult book to review properly without spending hours on it, I think Koestler has some very interesting things to say about the human race and why we are the way we are There s a lot of interesting stuff about evolution, a subject on which Koestler offers some intriguing speculation He totally trashes behaviourism and ultimately reaches a surprising conclusion It s impossible not to admire the author s ambi [...]

    20. Omar Rodriguez-Rodriguez on said:

      This book was written in 1967 and the style shows It is dense and academic but not unreadable, just dated It has great ideas about behavior, mind, determinism, group mentality, etc The concept of holon , for which the book is famous, was interesting Still I was most interested in the parallels drawn between animal and mechanical operations and the concept of physical and mental states as ghost in the machine I wouldn t read the book a second time but I would go over my highlights Lots of inspiri [...]

    21. Mike Rot on said:

      I need to read his follow up book, Janus A Summing Up, and honestly, reread this book too because it is dense and it requires a greater concentration than I was giving it on the first go around Fascinating ideas about the schizophrenic streak in the human brain and his conceptualization of holons and integrative tendencies within nature as ways of explaining curiosities of evolution I got that giddy feeling reading some passages.

    22. Toria on said:

      A fascinating book with unconventional thoughts about evolution and humanity Presents a useful framework for thinking about parts and wholes I don t necessarily agree with everything in it, and it s dated in some of its evidence and language, but 5 stars for the depth and followthrough of unconventional thinking.

    23. Wesley Fox on said:

      I managed to get through two thirds The Ghost in the Machine reads like a blow by blow account of an intra disciplinary battle in psychology and philosophy departments Since I am neither a psychologist or a philosopher, most of the text was dry and uninteresting Koestler does shift his approach and try to speak to readers that aren t university professors in a few instances but ends up insulting them with painfully simple and tedious explanations From what little I do know about psychology, the [...]

    24. Mira on said:

      This was working up to be a pretty interesting analysis of the mind and its layers of emotional and logical tendencies just took so long to get anywhere and as soon as the tables and diagrams came out, I lost interest.In terms of being about human impulse to violence, or an ancestral memory of primitive behaviour, I might give it another go one dayOne thing I think makes me start books like this is the debate that repression might induce primitive outbursts, or the plastic environments and time [...]

    25. Mrs. Kenyon on said:

      Morag Chen has met the Architects and everyone is wondering who these beautiful creatures really are Could they be ancient gods or aliens wanting to take over Earth Why have they taken over Daniel s mind Ghost in the Machine is the second book in the Babel Trilogy Morag is the narrator this time and she continues the story that Daniel told readers in The Fire Seekers Morag is continually uncovering hidden truths and constantly needs to reevaluate what she knew about human history The pages almos [...]

    26. Javier Bustos on said:

      A huge brick The main idea could be explained in 100 pages or less.

    27. R.K. Byers on said:

      Koestler s bugging first of all, not all of us would even ADMIT that there s a ghost in our own individual machines, but also to imagine that some magic pill in a country where weed isn t even legal is the solution makes me think he contrived this whole thing at the behest of some drug company.

    28. John Brooke on said:

      The mysterious dominance of one brain hemisphere over the other Clearly writen by a master who can make complicated scientific stuff easy to follow Always a good read and worth reading every few years.

    29. Steven Peterson on said:

      A work that examines how the human brain has a ghost within it Koestler calls upon a number of disciplines to explain He suggests that synthesizing these various disciplines leads to concern about human schizophysiology, as he puts it.

    30. Williwaw on said:

      I read this book when I was young, and I remember it as an incredible, multi disciplinary, intellectual adventure It was dazzling.To my amazement, I recently found a copy of the first American edition at a thrift store and did not hesitate to purchase it.I hope to re read it soon.

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