Oliver Sacks 2018. The River of Consciousness. London: Pan Macmillan, 237 pp.

Oliver Sacks’ final collection of essays, published after his death. Among other things they function as a sampler to his other books, many of which are referenced.

I didn’t know Sacks was such a student of Darwin but here many of Darwin’s six plant books are discussed, mainly in terms of the careful edifice of evolutionary examples which Darwin uses to build a fort around his theory of evolution by natural selection.

The essay The Creative Self has some excellent examples (Henri Poincaré, Wagner) of the phenomenon where problem solving continues as an “incubated” process in the subconscious mind.

But I found the essay on The Other Road: Freud as a Neurologist most rewarding. I didn’t know that Freud spent a substantial part of his career working on hardware before moving to software (developing psychology). And that memory and motive are essentially the same thing - there can be no remembering unless there is a motive to do so. Further developed in the subsequent essay The Fallibility of Memory.