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Being Brains: Making The Cerebral Subject, by Fernando Vidal and Francisco Ortega

03/07/2017

Summary

Being Brains offers a critical exploration of one of the most influential and pervasive contemporary beliefs: “We are our brains.” Starting in the “Decade of the Brain” of the 1990s, “neurocentrism” became widespread in most Western and many non-Western societies. Formidable advances, especially in neuroimaging, have bolstered this “neurocentrism” in the eyes of the public and political authorities, helping to justify increased funding for the brain sciences.

The human sciences have also taken the “neural turn,” and subspecialties in fields such as anthropology, aesthetics, education, history, law, sociology, and theology have grown and professionalized at record speed. At the same time, the development of dubious but successful commercial enterprises such as “neuromarketing and “neurobics” have emerged to take advantage of the heightened sensitivity to all things neuro. Skeptics have only recently begun to react to the hype, invoking warnings of neuromythology, neurotrash, neuromania, and neuromadness.

While this neurocentric view of human subjectivity is neither hegemonic nor monolithic, it embodies a powerful ideology that is at the heart of some of today’s most important philosophical, ethical, scientific, and political debates. Being Brains critically explores the internal logic of such ideology, its genealogy, and its main contemporary incarnations.

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Published in 13/11/2018

Updated in 19/02/2021

All events in the topic Other works, books and talks by Vidal and Ortega:


01/02/2009 (Aprox)Brainhood, Anthropological Figure of Modernity, by Fernando VidalBrainhood, Anthropological Figure of Modernity, by Fernando Vidal
01/01/2011 (Aprox)Neurocultures: Glimpses Into an Expanding Universe, by Fernando Vidal and Francisco OrtegaNeurocultures: Glimpses Into an Expanding Universe, by Fernando Vidal and Francisco Ortega
15/06/2011La neuroesthétique, un esthétisme scientiste, an article by Fernando VidalLa neuroesthétique, un esthétisme scientiste, an article by Fernando Vidal
15/08/2010The Moral Authority of Nature, edited by Lorraine Daston and Fernando VidalThe Moral Authority of Nature, edited by Lorraine Daston and Fernando Vidal
03/07/2017Being Brains: Making The Cerebral Subject, by Fernando Vidal and Francisco OrtegaBeing Brains: Making The Cerebral Subject, by Fernando Vidal and Francisco Ortega
06/01/2012Neuroaesthetics: Getting Rid of Art and Beauty, reviewed article by Fernando VidalNeuroaesthetics: Getting Rid of Art and Beauty, reviewed article by Fernando Vidal
12/01/2011The Sciences of the Soul: The Early Modern Origins of Psychology, by Fernando VidalThe Sciences of the Soul: The Early Modern Origins of Psychology, by Fernando Vidal
10/01/2012L'expérience mélancolique au regard de la critique, an afterword by Fernando VidalL'expérience mélancolique au regard de la critique, an afterword by Fernando Vidal
14/08/2007Miracles, Science, and Testimony in Post-Tridentine Saint-Making, by Fernando VidalMiracles, Science, and Testimony in Post-Tridentine Saint-Making, by Fernando Vidal
01/10/2013Prospero Lambertini's On the Imagination and Its Powers, by Fernando VidalProspero Lambertini's On the Imagination and Its Powers, by Fernando Vidal
17/12/2013Corporeality, Medical Technologies and Contemporary Culture, a book by Francisco OrtegaCorporeality, Medical Technologies and Contemporary Culture, a book by Francisco Ortega
01/06/2019Brazilian edition of Being Brains
05/04/2019 • 19:00:00Neurociências: Não somos o nosso cérebro?, a talk by Ortega