Do We Really Want to Know How the Brain Works?

A solid and brief update (link below) in today’s NYT Magazine on the amazing progress scientists are making in brain science. In addition to some interesting cases related to the latest research, the author gets at the important ethical question relating to neuroscience…

A couple of weeks ago, two scientists revealed that they had found a way to peer directly into your brain and tell what you are looking at, even when you yourself are not yet aware of what you have seen. So much for the comforting notion that each of us has privileged access to his own mind. ….

It is sobering to reflect how ignorant humans have been about the workings of their own brains for most of our history. Aristotle, after all, thought the point of the brain was to cool the blood. The more that breakthroughs like the recent one in brain-scanning open up the mind to scientific scrutiny, the more we may be pressed to give up comforting metaphysical ideas like interiority, subjectivity and the soul. Let’s enjoy them while we can.

Link: Of Two Minds – New York Times.

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