Descartes' Error | António R. Damásio


All that you can know for certain is that they are real to yourself, and that other beings make comparable images. We share our image-based concept of the world with other humans, and even with some animals; there is a remarkable consistency in the constructions different individuals make of the essential aspects of the environment (textures, sounds, shapes, colors, space). If our organisms were designed differently, the constructions we make of the world around us would be different as well. We do not know, and it is improbable that we will ever know, what “absolute” reality is like.

The truly embodied mind I envision, however, does not relinquish its most refi ned levels of operation, those constituting its soul and spirit. (…) Perhaps the most indispensable thing we can do as human beings, every day of our lives, is remind ourselves and others of our complexity, fragility, finiteness and uniqueness.