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Being BrainsMaking the Cerebral Subject$
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Fernando Vidal and Francisco Ortega

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780823276073

Published to University Press Scholarship Online: January 2018

DOI: 10.5422/fordham/9780823276073.001.0001

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date: 22 October 2019

Disciplines of the Neuro

Disciplines of the Neuro

Chapter:
(p.58) Two Disciplines of the Neuro
Source:
Being Brains
Author(s):

Fernando Vidal

Francisco Ortega

Publisher:
Fordham University Press
DOI:10.5422/fordham/9780823276073.003.0003

This chapter considers the emergence, since the 1990s, of fields whose names often combine the suffix neuro with the name of one of the human and social sciences, from anthropology and art history to education, law and theology. These “disciplines of the neuro” reframe the human sciences and their corresponding subjects on the basis of knowledge about the brain. Driven by the availability of imaging technologies, they look for neural correlates of behaviors and mental processes. Brain imaging studies since the early 1990s have increasingly dealt with topics of potential ethical, legal and social implications, such as attitudes, cooperation and competition, violence, political preference or religious experience. The media, both popular and specialized, has given much room to these new fields, thus underlining how rapidly neuroscientific knowledge spreads beyond the confines of brain research proper into different areas of life and culture as a whole. We provide an overview of these fields, as well as a more focused examination of neuroaesthetics and the “neurodisciplines” of culture. Though recurrently presented as a way of solving centuries-old riddles and offering solutions to supposed crises in the humanities, these new fields apply methods that are intrinsically inadequate to the objects and phenomena they claim to address.

Keywords:   brain imaging, cultural neuroscience, neural correlates, neuroasthetics, neurocultures, neuroethics

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