• The Age of Insight

  • The Quest to Understand the Unconscious in Art, Mind, and Brain, from Vienna 1900 to the Present
  • By: Eric R. Kandel
  • Narrated by: James Anderson Foster
  • Length: 16 hrs and 8 mins
  • 4.4 out of 5 stars (96 ratings)

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The Age of Insight

By: Eric R. Kandel
Narrated by: James Anderson Foster
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Publisher's summary

A brilliant book by Nobel Prize winner Eric R. Kandel, The Age of Insight takes us to Vienna 1900, where leaders in science, medicine, and art began a revolution that changed forever how we think about the human mind - our conscious and unconscious thoughts and emotions - and how mind and brain relate to art.

At the turn of the century, Vienna was the cultural capital of Europe. Artists and scientists met in glittering salons, where they freely exchanged ideas that led to revolutionary breakthroughs in psychology, brain science, literature, and art. Kandel takes us into the world of Vienna to trace, in rich and rewarding detail, the ideas and advances made then, and their enduring influence today.

©2012 Eric R. Kandel (P)2018 Tantor

What listeners say about The Age of Insight

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Worth the listen

A well written and fascinating read that bridges art, psychology, and biology. My only qualm is that the only women mentioned are models, case studies, and fictional characters... and maybe one scientist. Have there really been no women from 1900 to 2012 who made contributions to this conversation through their own art and study?

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27 people found this helpful

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Misleading title...

First part of the book deals with "Age of Insight" Vienna 1900. Discusses expressionist artists and Freud and their attempts to understand the role of the "unconscious" in art and society. After that it becomes a textbook on recent studies in brain science. It is detailed and scientific in focus and hardly the stuff I want to listen to while walking in the woods.

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12 people found this helpful

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fantastic insight

I didn't realize what I was getting myself into when I downloaded this book it wasn't what I was expected but was so much more instead. I wish there was more reading material that would expand on the ideas presented and some of the chapters. I'll have to give this one a few more lessons before I'm ready to put it down.

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9 people found this helpful

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An incredible journey from imperial Vienna to modern brain science

I was predisposed to liking this book given my love for Vienna and its history. But I was wowed by the scope of this intellectual tour de force. From Klimt and Schiele to Freud to discussions of the workings of the hippocampus, this is not an easy beach read. I often had to go to the Internet to look for maps of the brain. But it was well worth it. This kind of book stays with you and forever changes your perceptions of reality.

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8 people found this helpful

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masterwork

This is one of the greatest collections of works cited I've ever come across. Beautifully and comprehensively presented, this is a gold mine of brain science and classic art. I will return to this often.

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8 people found this helpful

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Great book. A bit hard to digest.

I bought this book before a trip to Vienna some things about the art history of the city. I ended up listening to a book with so much scientific information apart from the art history information that it blew my mind.

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3 people found this helpful

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Exceptional Book

In this thought-provoking book, the author surveys and reflects on the trends in modern medicine, arts, science, and philosophy. This is a masterful and intriguing examination of the interactions between the
various manifestations of the human thought and creativity. The main idea of the project transcends this book by setting up a promising paradigm for further investigations.

Marin Smillov, Ph. D.

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Incredible!science and artistic insight!

Highly recommend this to serious artists and others seeking insights on the working of the mind and the effect of and on artistic practice, understanding and enjoyment of seeing!

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An amazing achievement

This intertwined narrative of history, art, and neuroscience actually works. It is worth reading just for the insights into Vienna at the turn of the twentieth century, but there is so much more. Another magnificent gift Dr. Kandel has given us.

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A crash course in history , art and science. As relevant today as when it was written.

After college we need refresher courses to keep up alert and active. This book requires the listener to pay attention and absorb the information. Wonderful!!!

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  • Stephen Gott
  • 03-17-23

Vienna 1900. Art And Psychology A Meeting Of Minds

This is an interesting look at how in 1900's Vienna, there began a dialogue between art and Psychology, which has continued to develop right up to the present day. Austrian expressionist artists and writers were revealing things about themselves and others through their work. Just as scientists like Freud, were discovering similar things through their studies.
The viewers of art can find empathy with the artist through his work and even bring their own experiences to reveal more about the art.
A fascinating book, that calls for more collaboration between the humanities and the sciences. Not always an easy listen, but well narrated and worth the effort.

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