Phi by Giulio Tononi
A Voyage from the Brain to the Soul

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And there is a fair amount of art appreciation and art history thrown in...This eclectic mix makes for a challenging read, but one guaranteed to stretch and inform anyone delving into Phi: A Voyage from the Brain to the Soul.
-NY Journal of Books

Synopsis

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From one of the most original and influential neuroscientists at work today, here is an exploration of consciousness unlike any other—as told by Galileo, who opened the way for the objectivity of science and is now intent on making subjective experience a part of science as well.
 
Galileo’s journey has three parts, each with a different guide. In the first, accompanied by a scientist who resembles Francis Crick, he learns why certain parts of the brain are important and not others, and why consciousness fades with sleep. In the second part, when his companion seems to be named Alturi (Galileo is hard of hearing; his companion’s name is actually Alan Turing), he sees how the facts assembled in the first part can be unified and understood through a scientific theory—a theory that links consciousness to the notion of integrated information (also known as phi). In the third part, accompanied by a bearded man who can only be Charles Darwin, he meditates on how consciousness is an evolving, developing, ever-deepening awareness of ourselves in history and culture—that it is everything we have and everything we are.
 
Not since Gödel, Escher, Bach has there been a book that interweaves science, art, and the imagination with such originality. This beautiful and arresting narrative will transform the way we think of ourselves and the world.

 

About Giulio Tononi

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Giulio Tononi is a professor of psychiatry, the David P. White Professor of Sleep Medicine, and the Distinguished Chair in Consciousness Science at the University of Wisconsin. In addition to the major scientific journals, his work has appeared in New Scientist, Science Daily, and Scientific American. His research has been the subject of articles in The New York Times and The Economist. He is the coauthor, with Nobel laureate Gerald Edelman, of A Universe of Consciousness.
 
Published August 7, 2012 by Pantheon. 386 pages
Genres: Health, Fitness & Dieting, Professional & Technical, Science & Math, Law & Philosophy. Non-fiction
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Critic reviews for Phi
All: 2 | Positive: 2 | Negative: 0

WSJ online

Good
Reviewed by David Eagleman on Oct 08 2012

Throughout the book there is an interesting conflation of old and new, of past and present.

Read Full Review of Phi: A Voyage from the Brain ... | See more reviews from WSJ online

NY Journal of Books

Above average
Reviewed by Donald F. Calbreath on Aug 07 2012

And there is a fair amount of art appreciation and art history thrown in...This eclectic mix makes for a challenging read, but one guaranteed to stretch and inform anyone delving into Phi: A Voyage from the Brain to the Soul.

Read Full Review of Phi: A Voyage from the Brain ... | See more reviews from NY Journal of Books

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