Retrato do autor

Stephen S. Hall

Autor(a) de Wisdom: From Philosophy to Neuroscience

9+ Works 566 Membros 6 Críticas

About the Author

Stephen S. Hall is the author of critically acclaimed histories of contemporary science. He has been a contributing writer and editor at the New York Times Magazine, and his work has appeared in the New York Times Book Review, the Atlantic Monthly, Smithsonian, Science, and many other periodicals

Includes the name: Hall Stephen S.

Obras por Stephen S. Hall

Associated Works

The Best American Science Writing 2000 (2000) — Contribuidor — 167 exemplares
The Best American Science Writing 2008 (2008) — Contribuidor — 144 exemplares, 3 críticas
The Best American Science Writing 2001 (2001) — Contribuidor — 133 exemplares


Conhecimento Comum

Local de nascimento
Cleveland, Ohio, USA
Locais de residência
Brooklyn, New York, USA



This is a very readable book for the most part even though there is extensive discussion of such things as decision making, meditation, and the brain scans that allow the neuro-scientists to look at where the action is in the brain for different activities. Hall begins by looking at the various definitions of wisdom that have been formulated over the millennia from Biblical authors to modern philosophers. Wisdom turns out to be a rather fuzzy and hard to define trait whose dimensions people have trouble agreeing on but that they recognize when they see it.

In the second section of his book, Hall discusses the Eight Neural Pillars of Wisdom and the experiments that various psychologist, behavioral economists, and neuro-scientists have carried out in an effort to pinpoint where in the brain these eight "pillars" are happening. These include such traits as emotional regulation, compassion, and patience among others. This section does require close attention to terminology at times.

Section three is entitled Becoming Wise. What are the seeds of wisdom? Is it true that older really is wiser? What is everyday wisdom in the everyday world? He concludes with a chapter "Dare to Be Wise" where he tries to put everything together and finds that a definition of exactly what wisdom is, is still elusive.

This is a good overview of what had been discovered by the many researchers that Hall interviewed and where this area of neuroscience stood as he was finishing his book (which was published in 2010). Recommended
… (mais)
hailelib | 1 outra crítica | Aug 8, 2015 |
I liked this book, enjoyable reading with real depth. interesting topic
michaelbartley | 1 outra crítica | May 29, 2010 |
Profiles and shenanigans of major figures in the aging-research arena. Telomeres, longevity genes, stem cells, politics, clone-o-phobia.
fpagan | 1 outra crítica | Dec 19, 2006 |
So, when will stem cells come into widespread medical use? If you answer twenty years from now, you'd be wrong by about 60 years--they first became widely used in the 1960's! Only they were called "bone marrow transplants." Today thousands of them are done every year.

Hall has written a dozen so excellent books on medicine, biotechnology and molecular biology, and this is one of the best. Here he recounts the development of the idea that aging in humans can be scientifically understood and modified. He starts off with the wonderful story of the Hayflick limit with an account of his first interview with him and brings this maverick character to life. How often are the big ideas discovered by rogues and rebels--fearless men?

He covers a very wide swath of current developments in the cutting edge of biology and medicine--telomeres, stem cells, transplants, cloning, and aging--all told in enough depth that you can't help but learn something, even if you are pretty well informed. The history, the personalities, and the ideas are all here.

One thing I appreciated is that Hall makes no pretense about being disinterested in the subject--he takes some of it personally, and is not afraid to relate what his gut is telling him. He is partisan in the best sense of the word. He unflinchingly challenges the idealistic "bioethicists" who have lately ejected such nonsense into the public space, pretending to a certainty only a bishop could appreciate.

Hall also relates in some detail the evolution of the stem cell/cloning debate that has resulted in the policy that federal money can go to research only on the 70 embryonic stem cell lines already in existence, now known to be more like 6. And none of them suitable for therapeutic for humans because they are grown on a substrate of mouse cells and their viruses. The yokels and theologians have managed to set back this important avenue for improving human health by who knows how many decades... Sad to think we'll be looking for progress to the South Koreans, who recently generated human embryonic cell lines by nuclear transfer. Americans have yet to duplicate this

The quality of Hall's prose, and the nature of the subject itself, conspire to produce a book that I found very hard to put down. A terrific read!
… (mais)
DonSiano | 1 outra crítica | Oct 20, 2006 |


Wisdom (1)


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