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Cosmetic Neuroscience

Katerina Deligiorgi leads a talk and discussion about cosmetic neuroscience

The alteration of our bodies for aesthetic reasons may be becoming acceptable, even normal in developed Western societies. But what about our minds? Aren’t they part of our bodies, too? Neuroscience may be entering a golden age, and with it may be coming all kinds of consumer products that represent the mental equivalent of Botox. What if a pill could make you cleverer? Less violent? Or simply happier? Would you choose to take something like that? Would you vote to put it in the drinking water or to ban it as a violation of our fundamental human nature? For millennia the mind has been held above the body, separate from and superior to it. The mind, many religions tell us, continues to exist after the death of the body. For Descartes, of course, the mind was the only thing of which one could be absolutely sure: cogito, ergo sum.What we think, far more than our bodies, makes us who we are. This is perhaps what makes brain damage or senility, for many, so much more distressing a thought than physical injury or disease. Has all of this dualism come to an end in our materialistic, naturalistic age? If so, shouldn’t we be pushing the boundaries of medical technology in order to be the best people we can be? Or is there a danger of entering a rabbit-hole from which we will be unable to find an exit? Dr Katerina Deligiorgi is Senior Lecturer in Literature and Philosophy at the University of Sussex. Her current research is focussed on the role of autonomy in ethical decision-making to which, of course, these questions are extremely pertinent. Whatever your experience of mind-altering drugs — or lack thereof — this promises to be an evening of extremely stimulating and provocative discussion.


Dr Katerina Deligiorgi | talks | www


Date and Time:

27 July 2010 at 8:00 pm


3 hours



The Wheatsheaf
25 Rathbone Place

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Organised by:

Big Ideas
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Additional Information:

For more information, visit www.bigi.org.uk

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