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Tuesday, August 17, 2004

Disenlightenment is on its way... | Higher | I'm not guilty - but my brain is

We still have no idea how the brain works. But neuroscientists, holding journalists in thrall, are spreading a creepy idea. "It wasn't me, it was my brain what did it."

Read on. Singer doesn't think that criminal justice should change as a result, he just wants to preach the Existentialist gospel. Men still make decisions, unaware of the structures that govern their lives, for which they cannot be held responsible.

So much for thousands of years of the pursuit of self-knowledge. Neither Plato nor Freud thought that the excavation of the soul in the name of Enlightenment would operate with the efficiency of a convenience machine. Trying to distinguish the social and biological structures in which one operates, the freedoms in which one moves, and the negotiations between the two, has been the way upon which philosophers, mystics, and psychologists all write their work.

So why are neuroscientists scared off? Perhaps because it makes their lonely work with sea-slugs look all the more special.


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