The Voices Within: The History and Science of How We Talk to Ourselves by Charles FernyhoughThe Voices Within: The History and Science of How We Talk to Ourselves by Charles Fernyhough

The Voices Within: The History and Science of How We Talk to Ourselves

byCharles Fernyhough

Hardcover | October 4, 2016

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A luminous exploration of the nature of thoughts, from daydreams to the voices in our heads
At the moment you caught sight of this book, what were you thinking? Was your thought a stream of sensations? Or was it a voice in your head? Did you ask yourself, "I wonder what that's about?" Did you answer? And what does it mean if you did?

When someone says they hear voices in their head, they are often thought to be mentally ill. But, as Charles Fernyhough argues inThe Voices Within, such voices are better understood as one of the chief hallmarks of human thought. Our inner voices can be self-assured, funny, profound, hesitant, or mean; they can appear in different accents and even in sign language. We all hear them-and we needn't fear them. Indeed, we cannot live without them: we need them, whether to make decisions or to bring a book's characters to life as we read. Studying them can enrich our understanding of ourselves, and our understanding of the world around us; it can help us understand the experiences of visionary saints, who might otherwise be dismissed as schizophrenics; to alleviate the suffering of those who do have mental health problems; and to understand why the person next to us on the subway just burst out laughing for no apparent reason.

Whether the voices in our heads are meandering lazily or clashing chaotically, they deserve to be heard. Bustling with insights from literature, film, art, and psychology,The Voices Withinoffers more than science; it powerfully entreats us all to take some time to hear ourselves think.
Charles Fernyhoughis a writer and psychologist. He is the author of the critically acclaimedPieces of Light, shortlisted for many prizes, andA Thousand Days of Wonder. He directs Hearing the Voice, a project on inner voices based at Durham University. He lives in County Durham, United Kingdom.
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Title:The Voices Within: The History and Science of How We Talk to OurselvesFormat:HardcoverDimensions:320 pages, 9.5 × 6.5 × 1.12 inPublished:October 4, 2016Publisher:Basic BooksLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0465096808

ISBN - 13:9780465096800

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"[Fernyhough's] account is fascinating, not only for the ideas he raises but also for his vignettes of historical thought and research."--Lancet"The psychologist Charles Fernyhough, who became interested in the manifold ways in which we commune with ourselves, decided to investigate the phenomenon and his book, The Voices Within, is the intriguing result of his research."--Observer"This sophisticated and appealing work scrutinizes a tangled topic with aplomb and will leave readers permanently observing their own thought processes differently. Perfect for readers of Oliver Sacks and Malcolm Gladwell."--Booklist, starred review"Fernyhough's book is a valuable addition to the literature surrounding the unending human quest to understand the location--and the creation--of the self."--Publishers Weekly