About Rationally Speaking
Rationally Speaking is a blog maintained by Prof. Massimo Pigliucci, a philosopher at the City University of New York. The blog reflects the Enlightenment figure Marquis de Condorcet's idea of what a public intellectual (yes, we know, that's such a bad word) ought to be: someone who devotes himself to "the tracking down of prejudices in the hiding places where priests, the schools, the government, and all long-established institutions had gathered and protected them." You're welcome. Please notice that the contents of this blog can be reprinted under the standard Creative Commons license.
Tuesday, September 27, 2005
The neurobiology of obsession & depression
It is fascinating to see how these complex human behaviors can be altered dramatically by a very localized action in the brain. One obviously wonders about such matters as free will, personal responsibility, and all the other similarly loaded issues that dominate public discussions of things like disease and socially dangerous, or simply reprehensible "habits." Reading the article, it is hard to escape the distinct and uneasy feeling that "we" have a heck of a lot less control than we'd like on our alleged "choices." In a society as obsessed as the American one is by the balance between social and personal responsibility, this ought to make for crucial food for thought, but it hardly surfaces on the radar screen...