BooksFeatures

Book Forum––Des Fitzgerald’s Tracing Autism: Uncertainty, Ambiguity, and the Affective Labor of Neuroscience

This article is part of the series:

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Des Fitzgerald writes of his book, Tracing Autism, “This is a book about scientists talking about their own practice, in tones that are beset by ambiguity, uncertainty, complexity, and even some anxiety” (9).  This is true, and after reading the book one might find the description a little understated.  By now the idea that neuroscience, any science, is …

Books

On Plastic Reason by Tobias Rees

This article is part of the series:

Plastic Reason: An Anthropology of Brain Science in Embryogenetic Terms

by Tobias Rees

University of California Press, 2016, 352 pages

 

Plastic Reason is an excellent occasion to reflect on the relationship between poetry and science.

One might feel the proverbial contrastive tension in naming together poetry and science, a tension one finds in certain intellectual habits that foreground a …

Web Roundups

Web Roundup: Moral enhancement

This month’s web round up focuses on notions of treatment as enhancement…or vice versa? I’ve recently come off a stretch of spending quite a lot of time reading up on debates surrounding behavioral disorders in children. One issue that seems to crop up repeatedly is whether the use of medications in these young populations, particularly those living with ADHD, is …

BooksFeatures

Tobias Rees’s Plastic Reason: An Anthropology of Brain Science in Embryogenetic Terms

plastic reason coverPlastic Reason: An Anthropology of Brain Science in Embryogenetic Terms

by Tobias Rees

University of California Press, 2016, 352 pages

 

In the prefatory pages of Plastic Reason, Tobias Rees explains that his ethnographic study of the lab of French biologist Alain Prochiantz — one of the earliest proponents, technicians, and conceptual architects of neuronal plasticity — is ultimately “about …

Books

Mara Buchbinder’s “All In Your Head: Making Sense of Pediatric Pain”

all in your head coverAll In Your Head: Making Sense of Pediatric Pain

by Mara Buchbinder

University of California Press, 2015, 256 pages

 

Pain has a famously intangible quality. To paraphrase Elaine Scarry, for the person in pain, “having pain” can be wholly consuming and experienced as concrete reality. But for all its “there-ness,” pain is difficult to pin down, measure and describe. …

FeaturesWeb Roundups

Web Roundup: The Electronic Over-Soul and our Worst Selves (and Other Mishaps)

The web roundup for this month is a sequel to last month’s roundup on Mind, Consciousness, and Artificial Intelligence. I will address another interface between machines and minds, at the “hive mind” or the collective buzz of the internet, and the ways in which human limitations can be transmitted to the artificial minds that we beget. (And this one …