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The Mind and the Brain

Alfred Binet

Book Overview: 

This book is a prolonged effort to establish a distinction between what is called mind and what is called matter. Nothing is more simple than to realize this distinction when you do not go deeply into it; nothing is more difficult when you analyze it a little. At first sight, it seems impossible to confuse things so far apart as a thought and a block of stone; but on reflection this great contrast vanishes, and other differences have to be sought which are less apparent and of which one has not hitherto dreamed.

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .other sensations which are considered as the effects of the first named upon our organs of sense.

It demands a great effort to clear our minds of these familiar conceptions which, it is plain are nothing but naïve realism. Yes! the mechanical conception of the universe is nothing but naïve realism.

To recapitulate our idea, and, to make it more plain by an illustration, here is a tuning-fork on the table before me. With a vigorous stroke of the bow I set it vibrating. The two prongs separate, oscillate rapidly, and a sound of a certain tone is heard. I connect this tuning-fork, by means of electric wires, with a Déprez recording apparatus which records the vibrations on the blackened surface of a revolving cylinder; and we can thus, by an examination of the trace made under our eyes, ascertain all the details of the movement which animates it. We see, parallel to each other, two different orders of phenomena; the visual phenomena which show us that t. . . Read More

Community Reviews

interesting read

The audiobook speaks about the different perspective and point of views of the brain and the mind, spirituality and materialism, I personally agreed and disagreed with some. However it was good to see what homo sapiens think of and expand on it.

"My thought is mine, and it is known to me alone; it is my sanctuary, my private closet, where others do not enter. Everyone can see what I see, but no one knows what I think."

“This book is a prolonged effort to establish a distinction between what is called mind and what is called matter. Nothing is more simple than to realise this distinction when you do not go deeply into it; nothing is more difficult when you analyse it a little. At first sight, it seems impossible...more