The articles here by Kim Cunningham, Victoria Pitts-Taylor, Jesse Prinz, Deboleena Roy, and Alyson Spurgas are collectively the outcome of an experiment we undertook with a broader group of faculty and graduate students at the Graduate Center, City University of New York. This experiment, called NeuroCulture, was a year-long seminar and lecture series during which we tried to forge critical interdisciplinary engagements with neuroscience. The idea was that neuroscience is an enormously influential discourse in our current historical moment. It is both hugely popularized, in the sense that one finds references to brain science everywhere nowadays, and also highly technical, full of difficult jargon, and hard for outsiders to understand. We found that the challenges in creating interdisciplinary exchange about neuroscience are numerous. Among us were technophiles and neuroskeptics, empiricists and social constructionists, those who believe that science can be made better and those who reject its basic assumptions about objectivity and the material world in the first place. Our aim, fortunately, was not consensus. Instead we sought to proliferate thought in multiple directions, and on that score we succeeded.
July 7, 2012