Neuroscience, power and culture: an introduction

History of the Human Sciences 23 (1):1-10 (2010)

In line with their vast expansion over the last few decades, the brain sciences — including neurobiology, psychopharmacology, biological psychiatry, and brain imaging — are becoming increasingly prominent in a variety of cultural formations, from self-help guides and the arts to advertising and public health programmes. This article, which introduces the special issue of History of the Human Science on ‘Neuroscience, Power and Culture’, considers the ways that social and historical research can, through empirical investigations grounded in the observation of what is actually happening and has already happened in the sciences of mind and brain, complement speculative discussions of the possible social implications of neuroscience that now appear regularly in the media and in philosophical bioethics. It suggests that the neurosciences are best understood in terms of their lineage within the ‘psy’-disciplines, and that, accordingly, our analyses of them will be strengthened by drawing on existing literatures on the history and politics of psychology — particularly those that analyze formations of knowledge, power and subjectivity associated with the discipline and its practical applications. Additionally, it argues against taking today’s neuroscientific facts and brain-targetting technologies as starting points for analysis, and for greater recognition of the ways that these are shaped by historical, cultural and political-economic forces
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DOI 10.1177/0952695109354395
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How Does Moral Judgment Work?Joshua Greene & Jonathan Haidt - 2002 - Trends in Cognitive Sciences 6 (12):517-523.

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