Sunday, December 26, 2010

A Natural History of the Senses

A Natural History of the Senses is an excellent book by Diane Ackerman.  You may wonder why I share this book from 1990 now.  If you appreciate words and writers' views of the world along with fantastic turns of phrase, this book is for you.  If you teach psychology within a Humanities department, this book will be an excellent resource.

She, of course, takes from the writings of many sources dealing with all the senses.  Perhaps my favorite is when she examines how "bad smells" are dealt with medically.  Apparently, the Merck Manual has a category on flatulence.  Whether she is citing sweetness of smell or something musky or acrid, Diane Ackerman shares with the reader a delightful romp through history, psychology, and literature to enlighten us as to how people have perceived and used the senses in their daily lives.  A good read and worth quoting in class.

Below are two other excellent books related to psychology from Diane Ackerman:

posted by Chuck Schallhorn

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