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Book Description

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.

Table of Contents

  1. Cover Page
  2. Title Page
  3. Copyright Page
  4. Dedication Page
  5. Contents
  6. Acknowledgments
  7. Abbreviations
  8. Introduction
    1. Beyond Cartesianism?
    2. Governing through the Brain
    3. Our Argument
    4. Human Science?
  9. One: The Neuromolecular Brain
    1. How Should One Do the History of the Neurosciences?
    2. Infrastructure
    3. A Neuromolecular Style of Thought
    4. Enter Plasticity
    5. A Neuromolecular and Plastic Brain
  10. Two: The Visible Invisible
    1. The Clinical Gaze
    2. Inscribed on the Body Itself
    3. Open Up a Few Brains
    4. Seeing the Living Brain
    5. The Epidemiology of Visualization
    6. The New Engines of Brain Visualization
  11. Three: What’s Wrong with Their Mice?
    1. Artificiality?
    2. Models1, Models2, Models3, Models4 (and Possibly Models5)
    3. The Specificity of the Human
    4. Translation
    5. Life as Creation
  12. Four: All in the Brain?
    1. To Define True Madness
    2. The Burden of Mental Disorder
    3. All in the Brain?
    4. Neuropsychiatry and the Dilemmas of Diagnosis
  13. Five: The Social Brain
    1. The “Social Brain Hypothesis”
    2. Pathologies of the Social Brain
    3. Social Neuroscience
    4. Social Neuroscience beyond Neuroscience
    5. Governing Social Brains
  14. Six: The Antisocial Brain
    1. Embodied Criminals
    2. Inside the Living Brain
    3. Neurolaw?
    4. The Genetics of Control
    5. Nipping Budding Psychopaths in the Bud
    6. Sculpting the Brain in Those Incredible Years
    7. Governing Antisocial Brains
  15. Seven: Personhood in a Neurobiological Age
    1. The Challenged Self
    2. From the Pathological to the Normal
    3. The Self: From Soul to Brain
    4. A Mutation in Ethics and Self-Technologies?
    5. Caring for the Neurobiological Self
  16. Conclusion: Managing Brains, Minds, and Selves
    1. A Neurobiological Complex
    2. Brains In Situ?
    3. Coda: The Human Sciences in a Neurobiological Age
  17. Appendix: How We Wrote This Book
  18. Notes
  19. References
  20. Index