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So when did the big revolution of uniting Darwinism and neuroscience happen?

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Blink and you miss it:

As Shephard shows in this refreshingly sceptical mix of biography and intellectual history, the present intellectual climate is not as unprecedented as some would like us to think. The belief that a synthesis of Darwinism and neuroscience would revolutionise understanding of human behaviour was pervasive in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Linking evolution with neurology, it was believed, would produce a new science of the mind, which would in turn transform our understanding of ethics, politics and the human species itself.

Now, at the start of the 21st century, Christianity may still be retreating in most Western countries (though the opposite is the case in China, Russia and much of the developing world), while Marxism and psychoanalysis may have faded from view, but the idea that we are on the brink of a scientific revelation regarding the nature of the human mind that will transform the way we think of ourselves is as strong as it has ever been. Yet any suggestion that the human sciences can be progressive disciplines like physics remains as problematic as it was a century ago, and the neo-Darwinian theories that proliferate at the present time

2 Replies to “So when did the big revolution of uniting Darwinism and neuroscience happen?

  1. 1
    Robert Byers says:

    Evolution will never figfure out the human mind and its origins because our mind is, I say, only a organized priority system for memory.
    Our soul is where we are and our heart is priority conclusions from our soul looking out upon the universe.
    Just as the bible says.

  2. 2
    ScuzzaMan says:

    We are a culture forever “on the brink”, it seems.

    We’ve been on the brink of extinction by nuclear war for 6 or 7 decades.
    We’ve been on the brink of extinction by freezing or frying for 4 or 5 decades.
    We’ve been on the brink of extinction by plague for 3 or 4 decades.
    We’ve been on the brink of extinction by Frankensteinian artificial intelligence for a couple of centuries.

    It gets rather tedious after a while …

    One doubts that the synthesis of a failed metaphysical program with anything (let alone modern psychology) can be of real interest. As long as we continue to mistake chemistry for causality, in our determinedly deterministic (mis)understanding, we will never learn.

    As a neuroscientist friend of mine said recently:

    “As a scientist I have to believe that the brain is a deterministic mechanism.”

    Yes, quite.

    But I don’t (have to believe that), nor buy into the innate non sequitur.

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