I’m in DC today to attend a luncheon here at the Cosmos Club on Shakespeare. I have a particular interest in Elizabethan England because it was a time when the beginnings of The Enlightenment were superimposed upon a society that was still very much into believing in the power of witchcraft–an interesting time indeed, with echos that apply I suppose to our own times. In any case, my idea is that there were, at the time, two parallel versions of explaining human mind: one that recognized the brain as the seat of consciousness and the other that became dualism (as exemplified by Decartes). What is most interesting to me is that the version closer to our own current theories of mind arising from the activity of brains, came out of the folk-wisdom (I think)–the same place that witchcraft was still thriving. And the dualism view–the version that while still accepted by many, is not the neuroscience consensus….the dualism view arose out of The Enlightenment.
jlolds 1 Minute
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Native Angeleno, professor of Neuroscience and Public Policy at George Mason University View all posts by jlolds