The will to believe that brain scans reveal our deepest secrets and will give us the tools to manipulate our fellow humans for our collective benefit probably has quite deep origins. The idea that we are our brains, and that we are destined to act in certain ways prescribed by this biologically evolved organ, relieves us of some of the responsibility for our behaviour. There is also the erroneous idea that if, as many of us wish, we are to reject a supernatural account of the world, along with the idea of the self as an eternal soul planted in the material body, answerable to god, then we are obliged to embrace an naturalistic account of ourselves as organisms, and the self as identical with the key part of that organism, namely our brain.
02 June 2013
Sunday Reading with Raymond Tallis
Raymond Tallis writes with such clarity and verve. Masterful!