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[Xmca-l] Re: Also NY Review of Books

Hi Greg,

You are not alone. I am also baffled by all that neuroscience talk. We need to study every level and every aspect, but should not go to the extremes and mantras about the neural. Unfortunately, society is mesmerized by promises that not always are grounded in good science. For me the proponents of the neuroscience miracles are transparent, just like for your and the rest of the culture studies people. I strongly believe that the human condition is anchored in the culture phenomenon rather than in the structure of the brain. I often compare the brain to the hardware and the behavior patterns and culture to the software. I don’t need to know how my computer works in order to use the software. Furthermore, all PC are the same, but the software we use is different and that makes the difference. It seems to me that with the current populist stunt of neuroscience we are going back in the dark ages. Might sound heretic, but the belief in mapping the neurons as a means of understanding human action is too reductionist, rigid, and misleading.

Best wishes,


-----Original Message-----
From: xmca-l-bounces+lspopov=bgsu.edu@mailman.ucsd.edu [mailto:xmca-l-bounces+lspopov=bgsu.edu@mailman.ucsd.edu] On Behalf Of Greg Thompson
Sent: Tuesday, May 12, 2015 11:02 AM
To: eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity
Subject: [Xmca-l] Re: Also NY Review of Books

Regarding the Times piece, I was with the reviewer and with Sacks until the penultimate paragraph where we find this quote from Sacks:

“Individuality is deeply imbued in us from the very start, at the neuronal level. . . . We are destined, whether we wish it or not, to a life of particularity and self-development, to make our own individual paths through life.”

With everything that comes before in Sacks' work, this seems entirely non sequitur.

Or maybe I have misunderstood everything that came before?


On Tue, May 12, 2015 at 2:15 AM, Huw Lloyd <huw.softdesigns@gmail.com>

> New york review:
> http://www.nytimes.com/2015/05/17/books/review/on-the-move-by-oliver-s
> acks.html?_r=0
> Guardian review section:
> http://www.theguardian.com/books/2015/may/08/on-the-move-a-life-oliver
> -sacks-review-autobiography-neurologist
> The first time I saw the book I thought, "Is there another Oliver 
> Sacks I don't know about?"  But, of course, it makes perfect sense: 
> psychological insights are supported with wide experience.
> Huw
> On 12 May 2015 at 00:36, Robert Lake <boblake@georgiasouthern.edu> wrote:
> > Nothing attached Joe
> > On May 11, 2015 6:31 PM, "JAG" <joe.glick@gmail.com> wrote:
> >
> > > For review of Oliver Sacks book and very sad news about him.
> > >
> >

Gregory A. Thompson, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor
Department of Anthropology
880 Spencer W. Kimball Tower
Brigham Young University
Provo, UT 84602