On Wednesday the 9th of November I presented a paper to the Knowledge/Culture/Social Change International Conference at UWS Parramatta. The title of my paper was “Neuroscience, Technospectacularism and the Mind” and I recorded my talk which you can listen to below. The 29 minute recording includes some questions asked by the audience at the end – the first from Greg Haigne Associate Professor in the School of Languages & Comparitive Cultural Studies at UQ (Who presented a very interesting paper the day previously), and one from Professor Penny Harvey from the University of Manchester)
The phrase “Technospectacularism” is an adapted version of a phrase from the opening pages of Ian Bogost’s How To Do Things With Videogames and I think it’s an incredibly apt phrase to describe our time. The thesis of the paper itself is a reaction to what I see as an upswing in the use of Neuroscientific findings as a blunt weapon of persuasion for academics, journalists and authors outside of – or on the periphery of – the field itself. To counter this dangerous misuse of the unfinished science of the brain I drew on William Uttal’s critically important work suggesting that the brain-mind problem may be intractable. From there I spun out a hypothesis based on the “external mind” thesis, by Andy Clark and David Chalmers, as well as Graham Harman’s Object-Oriented Philosophy, suggesting that the mind is a real object with just as much reality as the touchable stuff of the brain, despite being made up of different “stuff” to the brain alone.
I’m very interested to hear your comments or concerns, and will certainly entertain requests for clarification – my email address is on the sidebar.