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Cover Quote: June 1990

And yet, whether in a philosophic sense (Kant’s sense), or an empirical and evolutionary sense, judgment is the most important faculty we have. An animal, or a man, may get on very well without ‘abstract attitude’ but will speedily perish if deprived of judgment. Judgment must be the first faculty of higher life or mind—yet it is ignored, or misinterpreted, by classical (computational) neurology. And if we wonder how such an absurdity can arise, we find it in the assumptions, or the evolution, of neurology itself. For classical neurology (like classical physics) has always been mechanical—from Hughlings Jackson’s mechanical analogies to the computer analogies of today.

Of course, the brain is a machine and a computer—everything in classical neurology is correct. But our mental processes, which constitute our being and life, are not just abstract and mechanical, but personal, as well—and, as such, involve not just classifying and categorising, but continual judging and feeling also. If this is missing, we become computer-like.…



- Oliver Sacks
The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat, 1985
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