By Allen M. Hornblum
At a time of elevated curiosity and renewed surprise over the Tuskegee syphilis experiments, Acres of pores and skin sheds gentle on yet one more darkish episode of yankee clinical historical past. during this demanding reveal, Allen M. Hornblum tells the tale of Philadelphia's Holmesburg criminal.
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Additional resources for Acres of Skin: Human Experiments at Holmesburg Prison
Using the term theory to describe proposals for how the brain produces this or that phenomenon is somewhat out of place. Unless the scale is large enough, most theories are just hypotheses. What is being proposed in this book, however, is more than that, since it articulates several hypothetical components for one aspect or another of the phenomena I am addressing. What we hope to explain is too complex to be addressed by a single hypothesis and be accounted for by one mechanism. So I have settled for the term framework to designate the effort.
Biological value has influenced the evolution of brain structures, and in any brain it influences almost every step of brain operations. It is expressed as simply as in the release of chemical molecules related to reward and punishment, or as elaborately as in our social emotions and in sophisticated reasoning. Biological value naturally guides and colors, so to speak, almost everything that happens inside our very minded, very conscious brains. Biological value has the status of a principle. In brief, the conscious mind emerges within the history of life regulation.
But the surprises do not end with the notion that in the absence of mind and consciousness brains can produce respectable behaviors. It turns out that living creatures without any brain at all, down to single cells, exhibit seemingly intelligent and purposeful behavior as well. And that too is an underappreciated fact. There is no doubt that we can gain useful insights into how human brains produce conscious minds by understanding the simpler brains that produce neither mind nor consciousness. As we engage in that retrospective survey, however, it becomes apparent that in order to explain the rise of such long-ago brains we need to go even deeper into the past, further back into the world of simple life-forms, devoid of both minds and brains, those life-forms that are unconscious, unminded, and unbrained.
Acres of Skin: Human Experiments at Holmesburg Prison by Allen M. Hornblum