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Neurosciences doomed to failure in their most ambitious claims – Theodore Dalrymple, physician


This came in late:

Significance and importance, however, are not natural qualities found inhering in objects or events. Only the appraising mind can impart such meaning. That is why, in my view, the neurosciences are doomed to failure, at least in their more ambitious claims. A mysterious metaphysical realm exists beyond the reach of even the most sophisticated of scanners, even if we cannot specify exactly where that realm is or how it came to be. The physiologist Moleschott, in the nineteenth century, declared that the brain secreted thought like the liver secreted bile; those neuroscientists who tell us that we are about to empty life of its mystery will come to seem as ridiculous, as absurdly presumptuous, as Moleschott seems to us now.

Theodore Dalrymple, “Here and After,” City Journal, November 4, 2011

Actually, they seem ridiculous now, but we would not be unnecessarily discourteous.

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