Foucault News

News and resources on French thinker Michel Foucault (1926-1984)

Borck, C. (2019). Cooperation and Critique in Neuroscience: Loops of Feedback Between Philosophy, the Psy Sciences and Neurophenomenology. Le Foucaldien, 5(1), 8.

DOI: 10.16995/lefou.57

Open access

In the long history of tenuous relations between psychology, psychiatry and philosophy the rise of neuroscience is typically regarded as decisive turn towards biological reductionism. Roughly since the turn of the millennium, however, the story has become more complicated. The emergence of social and cultural neuroscience seemed to indicate a new trend toward interdisciplinary cooperation across the nature-culture divide. Situating the emergence of this transdisciplinary agenda in the longer history of biologicalization in psychiatry and neuroscience, however, allows differentiating a mere rhetoric of bridging between neuroscience and humanities from conceptually more stringent studies such as in neurophenomenology. While some actors developed sophisticated experimental settings here for mediating between opposing approaches, others contributed by performative interventions, as critique comes in different forms and formats. In effect, these different lines of work keep the question regarding human nature open; certainly not the least achievement.

Keywords: critical neuroscience, historiography, socio-political contextualization, francisco varela, human nature, dissensus

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