robert-newman-2

Robert Newman

On Magical Scientism

Festival of Ideas/
Fri 13 October 2017

Robert Newman

On Magical Scientism

robert-newman-2
Fri 13 October 2017,

Can brain scans read our minds? Are we our brains? How can you map the mind?

In this talk based on his book Neuropolis – A Brain Science Survival Guide, Robert Newman explores the confusion of brain science with ideology, myth and fantasy, and how we can escape the spell of magical scientism and return to science. The Times says of Neuropolis that ‘Newman combines proper scientific argument with dazzling shafts of wit.’

Newman argues that the dehumanising claims of most current neuroscientific findings derive not from science, but from a combination of philosophical blunders and a version of evolutionary biology that owes little to Darwin. He questions why brain science books are devoted to such a peculiarly pessimistic world view, when exciting advances in neuroscience go untold.

He shows that our brains are inextricably and profoundly intertwined with our bodies, the natural world and the world we have made and offers an account of his own participation in neurological experiments. Debunking common, even brainless interpretations of brain science, he celebrates the intriguing and underreported advances in neuroscience.

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