Neuro and the Readable Mind

School of Advanced Study

Neuro and the Readable Mind

Nikolas Rose
(King's College London)

If we can 'read' the mind in the brain itself, what then?

The human mind was made legible long ago. But what of the human mind? Is it possible to 'read' the mind, for one human being to know what another is thinking or feeling, their beliefs and intentions. And if I can read your mind, how about others - could our authorities, in the criminal justice system or the security services? Some developments in contemporary neuroscience suggest the answer to this question is 'yes'.

While philosophers continue to debate the mind-brain problem, a range of novel technologies of brain imaging have been used to argue that specific mental states, and even specific thoughts can be identified by characteristic patterns of brain activation; this has led some to propose their use in practices ranging from lie detection and security screening to the assessment of brain activity in persons in persistent vegetative states.
In this talk, Nikolas Rose will explore some of the epistemological and ontological mutations involved and consider some implications of this materialization of the readable, knowable, transparent mind.

Nikolas Rose is Professor of Sociology and Head of the Department of Social Science, Health and Medicine at King's College London. His work explores how scientific developments have changed conceptions of human identity and governance and what this means for political, socio-economic and legal futures.

The Human Mind Project

School of Advanced Study, University of London
Nikolas Rose (King's College London)
Event date: 
Monday, 6 June 2016 - 1:00am
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