On Willing Selves: Neoliberal Politics VIS-A-VIS the Neuroscientific Challenge

Overview

Currently, the neurosciences challenge the concept of will to be scientifically untenable, specifying that it is our brain rather than our "self" that decides what we want to do. At the same time, we seem to be confronted with increasing possibilities and necessities of free choice in all areas of social life. Based on up-to-date (empirical) research in the social sciences and philosophy, the authors convened in this book address this seeming contradiction: By differentiating the physical, the psychic, and the ...

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Overview

Currently, the neurosciences challenge the concept of will to be scientifically untenable, specifying that it is our brain rather than our "self" that decides what we want to do. At the same time, we seem to be confronted with increasing possibilities and necessities of free choice in all areas of social life. Based on up-to-date (empirical) research in the social sciences and philosophy, the authors convened in this book address this seeming contradiction: By differentiating the physical, the psychic, and the social realm, the neuroscientific findings can be acknowledged within a comprehensive framework of selves in neoliberal societies.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780230013438
  • Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan
  • Publication date: 10/2/2007
  • Pages: 256
  • Product dimensions: 5.78 (w) x 8.85 (h) x 0.71 (d)

Meet the Author

SABINE MAASEN is Professor for Science Studies at the University of Basel. Her research interests include the dynamics of knowledge, social construction of volition and consciousness, neosocial governmentality, and new forms of knowledge production. A related publication is on Voluntary Action: On Brains, Minds, and Sociality (with Wolfgang Prinz & Gerhard Roth, 2003). BARBARA SUTTER is Research Assistant at the University of Basel. Her training is in sociology, political science, and philosophy and her research work focuses on transformations of the social by politics of participation and responsibilization.

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Table of Contents

Introduction—S.Maasen
• PART I: SELF - PAST AND PRESENT
• Technologies of the Will and their Christian Roots—A.Hahn
• Governing By Will—S.Maasen, B.Sutter, S.Duttweiler
• PART II: SELF AND (SOCIO-)SCIENTIFIC KNOWLEDGE
• Governing the Will in a Neurochemical Age—N.Rose
• Psychocybernetics—S.Rieger
• The Person as an Effect of Communication—A.Nassehi
• PART III: SELF AND POLITICS
• Responsibilization—K.Günther
• Neopolitics: Voluntary Action in the Neoconservative Regime—B.Cruikshank
• PART IV: SELF AND MORALITY
• From Voluntary to Relational Action: Responsibility and Value in a Global Context—K.J.Gergen
• Free Will, Concepts of Selves and Orthonomy—T.Vierkant

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