Home > hps, mcgill, neuroscience, philosophy of science > Cornelius Brock – Mind the Gap: The Neurosciences and Their Determination to Explain the Human

Cornelius Brock – Mind the Gap: The Neurosciences and Their Determination to Explain the Human

February 23, 2010 Leave a comment Go to comments

McGill University

History and Philosophy of Science

Histoire et Philosophie des Sciences

Thursday / jeudi March 11, 6pm / 18h:

Mind the Gap: The Neurosciences and Their Determination to Explain the Human

Cornelius BORCK

Professor and Director, Institute for the History of Medicine and Science Studies

University of Lübeck, Germany

Leacock Building, room 232, 6pm

McGill University

Open to all. A cheese and wine reception to follow.  / Ouvert à tous. Vin d’honneur à la suite.

This event is part four of a five-part national lecture series on "Trust in the new sciences" presented by the "Situating Science" Strategic Knowledge Cluster and the Canadian Centre for Ethics in Public Affairs. For more information, see: http://www.ccepa.ca/  and http://www.situsci.ca/


Understanding the brain and the biological basis of mind, consciousness and behavior is the ultimate challenge. It stimulates researchers to look into the brain with ever more sophisticated technology such as functional neuroimaging. This  colorful visualization of mental processes in the living human brain enthralls scientists and the public alike.

The neurosciences have made enormous progress over the last decades and provide ever more fascinating insights into our cognitive as well as emotional and social operations. While some hail this as the imminent advent of a definitive understanding of our mental apparatus and conclude we should align our social institutions with coming neuroscientific evidence, others warn against a brave new world of thought control, mind reading and manipulation.

Rather than debating the value of particular insights from the neurosciences, this  talk will look at the incredible dynamics of pushing our theorizing about the mind in new directions while opening more ways for intervening into the brain. Currently, nature and culture coalesce in this field of research without reducing one to the other. Are we witness to the opening of  a new chapter in the human evolution?

Cornelius Borck is Professor and Director of the Institute for the History of Medicine and Science Studies at the University of Lübeck, Germany. He formerly held a Canada Research Chair in Philosophy and Language of Medicine at McGill University, with a joint appointment in Social Studies of Medicine and Art History and Communication Studies, and he remains an Adjunct Professor in the department of Art History and Communication Studies. Among his many publications are the monographs Hirnströme: Eine Kulturgeschichte der Elektroenzephalographie (Brainwaves: a cultural history of electro-encephalography, Göttingen, 2005), Anatomien medizinischen Wissens (Anatomies of medical knowledge, Frankfurt, 1996), and the edited collections Psychographien (Psychographies, 2006), and Maß und Eigensinn: Studien im Anschluß an Georges Canguilhem (Measure and Will: studies on Georges Canguilhem, München, 2005).

For more information on McGill HPS talks, see:

http://www.mcgill.ca/hpsc/lectures/ and http://www.mcgill.ca/hpsc/seminars/

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