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Recent years have seen a rapid growth in neuroscientific research, and an expansion beyond basic research to incorporate elements of the arts, humanities and social sciences. It has been suggested that the neurosciences will bring about major transformations in the understanding of ourselves, our culture and our society. In academia one finds debates within psychology, philosophy and literature about the implications of developments within the neurosciences, and the emerging fields of educational neuroscience, neuro-economics, and neuro-aesthetics also bear witness to a ‘neurological turn’ which is currently taking place.
Neuroscience and Critique is a ground-breaking edited collection which reflects on the impact of neuroscience in contemporary social science and the humanities. It is the first book to consider possibilities for a critique of the theories, practices, and implications of contemporary neuroscience. Bringing together leading scholars from several disciplines, the contributors draw upon a range of perspectives, including cognitive neuroscience, critical philosophy, psychoanalysis, and feminism, and also critically examine several key ideas in contemporary neuroscience, including:
The volume will stimulate further debate in the emerging field of interdisciplinary studies in neuroscience, and will appeal to researchers and advanced students in a range of disciplines including critical psychology, philosophy, and critical studies.
'De Vos and Pluth deliver what is really needed today: a critique of neuroscientific reason in the strict Kantian sense. They avoid the twin trap of either succumbing to the fascination with brain sciences or their desperate humanist rejection. Instead, they ask the truly relevant questions about the exact status of neurosciences, as well as about their epistemological, ethical and political implications. It’s a book for those who still dare to think!' – Slavoj Žižek, University of Ljubljana, Slovenia
'The contributors to Neuroscience and Critique bring cutting-edge theoretical concepts and debates to bear on the claim that research in neurology can finally explain the formation and operation of our subjectivity. The ‘limits’ of the neuro-turn turn out to be intrinsic to our nature as human subjects, a nature that neuroscience caricatures as it attempts to capture it. This book intensifies the terms of critique so that we are able to see how we might escape neuro-reductionism while embracing the indeterminate and ethical choices that real ‘critique’ requires'. – Ian Parker, Psychoanalyst in Manchester and Professor of Management, University of Leicester, UK
'[Those] interested… will find Neuroscience and Critique likely to be one of the most stimulating and thought-provoking books they will have read in recent years… [If] your idea of "beach reading" is thoughtful, substantive, scholarly writing that takes you outside your usual reading ruts so that you return to your endeavors enriched--well, have I got a critique for you.' -Richard Ruth, George Washington University, PsycCritiques
Introduction: Who Needs Critique? Jan De Vos and Ed Pluth Part One: Which Critique? 1. The Brain: a Nostalgic Dream: Some notes on neuroscience and the problem of modern knowledge, Marc De Kesel 2. What is Critique in the Era of the Neurosciences? Jan De Vos 3. Who Are We, Then, If We Are Indeed Our Brains? Critique, Neuroscience, and Psychoanalysis, Nima Bassiri 4. Neuroscientific Dystopia: Does Naturalism commit a Category Mistake? Peter Reynaert Part Two: Some Critiques 5. From Global Economic Change to Neuromolecular capitalism, Jessica Pykett 6. What is the feminist critique of neuroscience? A call for dissensus studies, Cynthia Kraus 7. Brain in the Shell. Assessing the stakes and the transformative potential of the Human Brain Project, Philipp Haueis and Jan Slaby 8. Confession of a Weak Reductionist: Responses to Some Recent Criticisms of My Materialism, Adrian Johnston Part Three: Critical Praxes 9. The role of biology in the history of psychology: neuropsychoanalysis and the foundation of a mental level of causality, Ariane Bazan 10. Embodied simulation as second-person perspective on intersubjectivity, Vittorio Gallese 11. Empathy as Developmental Achievement: Beyond Embodied Simulation, Mark Solms Afterword 12. The Fragile Unity of Neuroscience, Joseph Dumit