Being Brains: Making the Cerebral Subject by Fernando VidalBeing Brains: Making the Cerebral Subject by Fernando Vidal

Being Brains: Making the Cerebral Subject

byFernando Vidal, Francisco Ortega

Hardcover | July 3, 2017

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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.

Fernando Vidal (Author) Fernando Vidal is Research Professor of ICREA (The Catalan Institution for Research and Advanced Studies) and Professor at the Center for the History of Science, Autonomous University of Barcelona.Francisco Ortega (Author) Francisco Ortega is Associate Professor at the Institute for Social Medicine of the Stat...
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Title:Being Brains: Making the Cerebral SubjectFormat:HardcoverDimensions:304 pagesPublished:July 3, 2017Publisher:Fordham University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0823276074

ISBN - 13:9780823276073

Reviews

Editorial Reviews

"Are we our brains? Have we become 'cerebral subjects,' our identities located in nothing more, nor less, than the gray matter in our heads? [The book] masterfully charts the contours of a phenomenon that is at once highly visible . . . and, as an object of study, slippery and elusive in part because it's so deeply imbricated into the fabric of our everyday lives. Being Brains is a model of how to do intellectual history, argued carefully, precisely, and close to the evidence while at the same time making bold claims that decisively upend conventional understandings of relations between science and the contexts in which it is practiced. I especially appreciated [the authors'] alertness to everyday ontologies and to the ways in which individuals seamlessly weave together different understandings of mind, brain, and self-drawn from a range of scientific and popular sites-in fashioning their identities; it's a rare account as sophisticated as theirs on this issue. . . . A model of engaged scholarship-and a pleasure to read."