Audio Interview with Damasio

by F.

Antonio Damasio’s Descartes’ Error, was reprinted last year with a new preface. It’s an amazing book: intelligent, humane, and and credible. Damasio, now at USC (better weather than Iowa, I guess), talks about his research in a 2000 interview on WBUR’s program The Connection. The recording is here in Real Audio Format. It’s about 48:00 long, with 4 or so calls from listeners. It can be downloaded to the iPod, but since I’m not real good with Real Audio-fu, I’ll let you Google for directions on that if necessary.

The interviewer is OK and the questions are a mixed bag—mostly nuts and granola, I’d say. But Damasio is such a skillful speaker that it probably wouldn’t matter who the interviewer or the caller was. Notice how Damasio is able to tell one listener—the one who suggests that emotions are “carried in various organs, like the lungs and liver”—her view is wrong without in the least hurting her feelings or appearing arrogant. Amazing. This is a wonderful, easy to understand talk and, it seems to me, a model for how to give a substantive interview. Plus he has a nice voice, complete with charming Old World accent.

More at The Connection.

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