Does modern brain-scanning technology provide insights that correlate meaningfully with our emotions, intentions, and feelings? Does our ability to illuminate the mind within the brain spotlight our innermost thoughts and reveal the sources of our deepest desires?
Neuroscience has sparked the imagination of policy makers, marketeers, pollsters, communicators, artists and lawyers. They claim neuroscience explains everything from why consumers make certain choices to why people vote left or right. Some even maintain it can fathom why some of us are prone to rebellion, and why we prefer one form of art over another. Increasingly, lawyers argue that clients shouldn’t be held responsible for committing heinous crimes because of their faulty neurological circuitry.
Are those calling for a radical neuro-transformation of criminal responsibility, education, public health and social policy too credulous about what some term ‘neuromania’? Or is scepticism about neuroscience driven by a myopic refusal to accept that we are less autonomous than we think?
chaired by: Angus Kennedy
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