Bronowski's Brain

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Originally published in Contemporary Psychology: APA Review of Books, 1979, Vol 24(8), 620–621. Reviews the book, A Sense of the Future: Essays in Natural Philosophy by Jacob Bronowski (see record 1980-51434-000); The Visionary Eye: Essays in the Arts, Literature, and Science edited by Piero E. Ariotti in collaboration with Rita Bronowski (1978); The Origins of Knowledge and Imagination (1978) and Magic, Science, and Civilization (1978). The extraordinary man who composed these four posthumously published volumes is best known to Americans as the creator of the magnificent television series, “The Ascent of Man,” issued in book form in 1973. At his death, Bronowski left his work unfinished–lectures unpublished and articles scattered in a wide range of periodicals. The fourth and last of the books here reviewed transcribes his Bampton Lectures at Columbia University, it is also the least of this set of writings. The third book contains Bronowski's 1967 contribution to the distinguished Silliman Lecture series at Yale. The second book is mostly on art. The best and meatiest book by far is the first, A Sense of the Future, which brings together 19 previously published essays on natural philosophy. Virtually all that is in the Silliman Lectures is here also. There is much redundancy among this quartet of books, and most readers will be satisfied with just the first of them. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2006 APA, all rights reserved)

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