Broca’s Brain – Carl Sagan (signed)


Broca’s Brain – Carl Sagan (signed)


A rare copy signed by eminent scientist Carl Sagan. 

Title: Broca’s Brain

Author: Carl Sagan

Publisher: Random House, New York. Most likely 5th printing.

Condition: Hardcover, with price-clipped dust jacket. Very good. Small tears to dust jacket. Top edge slightly tanned. Slight signs of wear to book. 347pp., app 9″ by 6″.

About the book (from Wikipedia):

Broca’s Brain: Reflections on the Romance of Science is a 1979 book by astrophysicist Carl Sagan. Its chapters were originally articles published between 1974 and 1979 in various magazines, including The Atlantic Monthly, The New Republic, Physics Today, Playboy and Scientific American. In the introduction, Sagan wrote:

As long as there have been human beings, we have posed the deep and fundamental questions…If we don’t destroy ourselves, most of us will be around for the answers… By far the most exciting, satisfying and exhilarating time to be alive is the time in which we pass from ignorance to knowledge on these fundamental issues.

— p. xiii

A major part of the book is devoted to debunking “paradoxers” who either live at the edge of science or are outright charlatans. An example of this is the controversy surrounding Immanuel Velikovsky’s ideas presented in the book Worlds in Collision. Another large part of the book discusses naming conventions for the members of our solar system and their physical features. Sagan also discusses Science fiction at some length. Here, he mentions Robert A. Heinlein as being one of his favorite science fiction authors in his childhood. Near death experiences and their cultural ambiguity is another topic of the essays. Sagan also criticizes ideas developed in Robert K. G. Temple’s book The Sirius Mystery, published three years earlier in 1975.

In the final section of the book, “Ultimate Questions.” Sagan writes:

…My deeply held belief is that if a god of anything like the traditional sort exists, our curiosity and intelligence were provided by such a god…on the other hand if such a god does not exist then our curiosity and intelligence are the essential tools for survival. In either case the enterprise of knowledge is essential for the welfare of the human species.