The Rise of the Neurosciences|
Fall 2018 not offered
This course examines the expansion and proliferation of the neurosciences from the early modern period to the present. We will investigate the recent claim that we are living in the midst of a "neuro-revolution" with vast social, political, and economic consequences around the globe. Yet at the same time, we will look to the past for similar moments of transition and transformation of the modern sciences abetted by experiments on the nervous system. Students will analyze texts from Descartes to Damasio, paying attention to the rhetorical explanatory power of certain epistemic objects and instruments--samples of brain tissue, synaptic networks, clinical case histories, and MRI scans--as well as the institutional power shifts that sanctioned research practices such as vivisection, phrenology, electrophysiology, and functional imaging. Through our reading of primary sources by philosophers and physicians and secondary sources by historians and sociologists, this course will explore what is at stake in the "neuro-turn," and why it provokes such a mixed reaction of hope and hype, then as well as now.
||Gen Ed Area Dept:
|Course Format: Seminar||Grading Mode: Student Option|
||Fulfills a Major Requirement for: (PSYC)(SISP)(SISP-ScieDblMjr)
Descartes, TREATISE OF MAN
La Mettrie, MACHINE MAN
Damasio, DESCARTES' ERROR
Dumit, PICTURING PERSONHOOD
Choudhury and Slaby, CRITICAL NEUROSCIENCE (excerpts)
Rose and Abi-Rached, NEURO (excerpts)
Readings also will include primary sources by Broca, Ramón y Cajal, Ferrier, Fritsch and Hitzig, Gall, Gazzaniga, Kandel, Sperry, and Willis; and additional secondary sources by Beaulieu, Borck, Cooter, Goldstein, Harrington, Joyce, Latour, Pickersgill, Rose, Rousseau, and Vidal
|Examination and Assignments: |
This class will be discussion-based, and will require active participation. Students will also be required to: complete a short presentation and related essay (3-5 pages) on an assigned topic; and complete a final paper on a topic of their choice (15-20 pages).