Neuro: The New Brain Sciences and the Management of the Mind

Overview

The brain sciences are influencing our understanding of human behavior as never before, from neuropsychiatry and neuroeconomics to neurotheology and neuroaesthetics. Many now believe that the brain is what makes us human, and it seems that neuroscientists are poised to become the new experts in the management of human conduct. Neuro describes the key developments—theoretical, technological, economic, and biopolitical—that have enabled the neurosciences to gain such traction outside the laboratory. It explores the...

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Neuro: The New Brain Sciences and the Management of the Mind

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Overview

The brain sciences are influencing our understanding of human behavior as never before, from neuropsychiatry and neuroeconomics to neurotheology and neuroaesthetics. Many now believe that the brain is what makes us human, and it seems that neuroscientists are poised to become the new experts in the management of human conduct. Neuro describes the key developments—theoretical, technological, economic, and biopolitical—that have enabled the neurosciences to gain such traction outside the laboratory. It explores the ways neurobiological conceptions of personhood are influencing everything from child rearing to criminal justice, and are transforming the ways we "know ourselves" as human beings. In this emerging neuro-ontology, we are not "determined" by our neurobiology: on the contrary, it appears that we can and should seek to improve ourselves by understanding and acting on our brains.

Neuro examines the implications of this emerging trend, weighing the promises against the perils, and evaluating some widely held concerns about a neurobiological "colonization" of the social and human sciences. Despite identifying many exaggerated claims and premature promises, Neuro argues that the openness provided by the new styles of thought taking shape in neuroscience, with its contemporary conceptions of the neuromolecular, plastic, and social brain, could make possible a new and productive engagement between the social and brain sciences.

Copyright note: Reproduction, including downloading of Joan Miro works is prohibited by copyright laws and international conventions without the express written permission of Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Rose and Abi-Rached make a convincing argument for a more positive engagement between the social and brain sciences in their discussion of the effects of neuroscience on public understanding of the self."—Wayne Hall, Lancet

"As the title implies, this book offers interesting thoughts and findings for any scholar with a connection to neuroscience."Choice

"[I]t is essential reading. If you want to understand neuroscience—rather than just facts about neuroscience—Neuro is probably one of the most important books you could read. And the same goes if you are a neuroscientist or just interested in how we, as a society, are integrating the study of the brain into how we live."—Vaughan Bell, Mind Hacks

"Neuro is, in fact, a timely manifesto that urges the social sciences and the life sciences to ditch the mutual suspicion and start working together in a spirit of critical friendship. It is all the more powerful given Rose's intimacy with the life sciences."—Anjana Ahuja, RSA Journal

"Neuro convincingly shows, in a thoughtful, encompassing yet meticulous manner, how the neurosciences achieved their exceptional status as the Big Science of today, and what the fundamental difficulties of research in this area are. It is clear that we have every reason to constructively engage with the developments in the neurosciences and that focusing exclusively on critiques of reductionism just would not do the trick."—Ties van de Werff, New Genetics and Society

"What strikes one when reading Neuro is how well the authors know what they are writing about. Their strategy is one of informed, balanced assessment, carefully weighing promises against perils, methodological conundrums against technical breakthroughs, genuine in sights against promissory overclaim—all against a well-researched background of historical developments, institutional and personal entanglements, discursive surrounds, and political and institutional pressures."—Jan Slaby, Rezensionen

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780691149615
  • Publisher: Princeton University Press
  • Publication date: 2/24/2013
  • Pages: 344
  • Sales rank: 680,087
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Nikolas Rose is professor of sociology and head of the Department of Social Science, Health, and Medicine at King's College London. His books include "The Politics of Life Itself: Biomedicine, Power, and Subjectivity in the Twenty-First Century" (Princeton). Joelle M. Abi-Rached is a PhD candidate in the history of science at Harvard University.

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments ix
Abbreviations xi
Introduction 1

  • Beyond Cartesianism? 3
  • Governing through the Brain 6
  • Our Argument 9
  • Human Science? 23

One The Neuromolecular Brain 25

  • How Should One Do the History of the Neurosciences? 28
  • Infrastructure 38
  • A Neuromolecular Style of Thought 41
  • Enter Plasticity 47
  • A Neuromolecular and Plastic Brain 51

Two The Visible Invisible 53

  • The Clinical Gaze 55
  • Inscribed on the Body Itself 56
  • Open Up a Few Brains 61
  • Seeing the Living Brain 65
  • The Epidemiology of Visualization 74
  • The New Engines of Brain Visualization 80

Three What's Wrong with Their Mice? 82

  • Artificiality? 85
  • Models1, Models2, Models3, Models4 (and Possibly Models5) 92
  • The Specificity of the Human 102
  • Translation 104
  • Life as Creation 108

Four All in the Brain? 110

  • To Define True Madness 113
  • The Burden of Mental Disorder 125
  • All in the Brain? 130
  • Neuropsychiatry and the Dilemmas of Diagnosis 137

Five The Social Brain 141

  • The "Social Brain Hypothesis" 143
  • Pathologies of the Social Brain 148
  • Social Neuroscience 151
  • Social Neuroscience beyond Neuroscience 156
  • Governing Social Brains 160

Six The Antisocial Brain 164

  • Embodied Criminals 167
  • Inside the Living Brain 173
  • Neurolaw? 177
  • The Genetics of Control 180
  • Nipping Budding Psychopaths in the Bud 190
  • Sculpting the Brain in Those Incredible Years 192
  • Governing Antisocial Brains 196

Seven Personhood in a Neurobiological Age 199

  • The Challenged Self 202
  • From the Pathological to the Normal 204
  • The Self: From Soul to Brain 213
  • A Mutation in Ethics and Self-Technologies? 219
  • Caring for the Neurobiological Self 223

Conclusion Managing Brains, Minds, and Selves 225

  • A Neurobiological Complex 225
  • Brains In Situ? 227
  • Coda: The Human Sciences in a Neurobiological Age 232

Appendix How We Wrote This Book 235
Notes 237
References 277
Index 325

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