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Adventures on the edge of consciousness

In his new book Oliver Sacks reveals how an amphetamine trip led to his lifelong obsession with the strangest experiences of the human mind

By Adam Kirsch   November 2012

Two brains: few authors have influenced the popular imagination of mental illness as much as Sacks

Ask a philosopher to name the most influential philosophical essay of the last half-century and there’s a good chance he will choose Thomas Nagel’s 1974 paper “What Is It Like to Be a Bat?” The point of Nagel’s argument is not that there is anything especially exciting about bats’ mental lives, but simply that there is no way for a human being to understand how bats—or, for that matter, any other creature—experience the world. What…

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