Please Be Mindful of the Mind-Brain Distinction

In all this neo-brain science talk, perhaps we are blurring the distinction between the mind and that big wrinkled organ between our ears.


Missing the difference--between intellect, consciousness and the nervous system-- was lamented by Philosophy teacher Jane O'Grady at Open Democracy recently.

In an extensive tour of the shortcomings that arise when experts unwisely marry the behavioral and neurosciences, O'Grady says applying too many social mores to the hard science of the nervous system can lead to a world "leeched of meaning, morality, dignity and freedom."

Since it's one organ we would hope you never visit Big Think without, consider some of Princeton Professor Sam Wang's other brain myths debunked.

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We're talking Ghost in the Shell type of stuff. 

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Maybe you watched Ghost in the Shell and maybe afterwards you and your friend had a conversation about whether or not you would opt in for some bionic upgrades if that was possible - like a liver that could let you drink unlimitedly or an eye that could give you superhuman vision. And maybe you had differing opinions but you concluded that it's irrelevant because the time to make such choices is far in the future. Well, it turns out, it's two years away.

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The philosophy of tragedy & the tragedy of philosophy - with Simon Critchley

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