What Should We Do with Our Brain?

ISBN-10: 082322953X
ISBN-13: 9780823229536
Edition: 3rd 2008
List price: $30.00 Buy it from $12.16 Rent it from $15.98
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Description: Recent neuroscience, in replacing the old model of the brain as a single centralized locus of control, has emphasized a feature of the brain called plasticity, whereby our brain develops and changes throughout an entire lifetime. Through this  More...

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Book details

List price: $30.00
Edition: 3rd
Copyright year: 2008
Publisher: Fordham University Press
Publication date: 10/15/2008
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 120
Size: 7.80" wide x 5.20" long x 0.40" tall
Weight: 0.528
Language: English

Recent neuroscience, in replacing the old model of the brain as a single centralized locus of control, has emphasized a feature of the brain called plasticity, whereby our brain develops and changes throughout an entire lifetime. Through this plasticity, our brain exists as a historical product; it develops in interaction with the environment, through human experience. Hence there is a thin frontier between the organization of the nervous system and the political and social organization conditioning and conditioned by that experience. The new way of speaking about the brain is a mirror image of the capitalist world in which we now live. "Plasticity," in connection with such an image, can have two meanings. In its neo-liberal meaning, "plasticity" amounts to "flexibility" -- in economics and management theory, "flexible" has become a buzzword. The plastic brain might thus represent just another style of power which, although less centralized, is still a means of control. But in this book, Catherine Malabou proposes a more radical meaning for plasticity, one that not only adapts itself to existing circumstances, but forms a margin of freedom to intervene, to change the circumstances. Such an understanding of this concept opens up a transformative aspect of the neurosciences, opposed to their aspect of domination and control. In insisting on this proximity between the neurosciences and the social sciences, Malabou applies to the brain Marx's well-known phrase about history: people make their own brain, but they do not know it. This book is a call to such knowledge.

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