Psychosomatic: Feminism and the Neurological Body

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9780822333654: Psychosomatic: Feminism and the Neurological Body
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How can scientific theories contribute to contemporary accounts of embodiment in the humanities and social sciences? In particular, how does neuroscientific research facilitate new approaches to theories of mind and body? Feminists have frequently criticized the neurosciences for biological reductionism, yet, Elizabeth A. Wilson argues, neurological theories—especially certain accounts of depression, sexuality, and emotion—are useful to feminist theories of the body. Rather than pointing toward the conventionalizing tendencies of the neurosciences, Wilson emphasizes their capacity for reinvention and transformation. Focusing on the details of neuronal connections, subcortical pathways, and reflex actions, she suggests that the central and peripheral nervous systems are powerfully allied with sexuality, the affects, emotional states, cognitive appetites, and other organs and bodies in ways not fully appreciated in the feminist literature. Whether reflecting on Simon LeVay’s hypothesis about the brains of gay men, Peter Kramer’s model of depression, or Charles Darwin’s account of trembling and blushing, Wilson is able to show how the neurosciences can be used to reinvigorate feminist theories of the body.

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"It is quite a while since we have heard a voice as refreshing as that of Elizabeth A. Wilson. With boldness, wit, and extraordinary inventiveness, she shows us just how delimiting have been prevailing tendencies in science studies and feminist theory to marginalize, if not outright repudiate, the material, biological dimensions of human psychology. At the same time, by demonstrating the power of reading biological accounts with the eye of a critical theorist, she reveals the limitations operating within the life sciences. "Psychosomatic "teaches all of us how to do better: how to read neuroscience for the creative lessons it can offer the human sciences and how to employ the insights of the human sciences to open these same texts to dramatically new understandings."--Evelyn Fox Keller, author of "Making Sense of Life: Explaining Biological Development with Models, Metaphors, and Machines"

About the Author:

Elizabeth A. Wilson is a Research Fellow at the Research Institute for Humanities and Social Sciences at the University of Sydney in Australia. She is the author of Neural Geographies: Feminism and the Microstructure of Cognition.

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Book Description Duke University Press, United States, 2004. Paperback. Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. How can scientific theories contribute to contemporary accounts of embodiment in the humanities and social sciences? In particular, how does neuroscientific research facilitate new approaches to theories of mind and body? Feminists have frequently criticized the neurosciences for biological reductionism, yet, Elizabeth A. Wilson argues, neurological theories-especially certain accounts of depression, sexuality, and emotion-are useful to feminist theories of the body. Rather than pointing toward the conventionalizing tendencies of the neurosciences, Wilson emphasizes their capacity for reinvention and transformation. Focusing on the details of neuronal connections, subcortical pathways, and reflex actions, she suggests that the central and peripheral nervous systems are powerfully allied with sexuality, the affects, emotional states, cognitive appetites, and other organs and bodies in ways not fully appreciated in the feminist literature. Whether reflecting on Simon LeVay s hypothesis about the brains of gay men, Peter Kramer s model of depression, or Charles Darwin s account of trembling and blushing, Wilson is able to show how the neurosciences can be used to reinvigorate feminist theories of the body. Seller Inventory # AAJ9780822333654

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Book Description Duke University Press, United States, 2004. Paperback. Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. How can scientific theories contribute to contemporary accounts of embodiment in the humanities and social sciences? In particular, how does neuroscientific research facilitate new approaches to theories of mind and body? Feminists have frequently criticized the neurosciences for biological reductionism, yet, Elizabeth A. Wilson argues, neurological theories-especially certain accounts of depression, sexuality, and emotion-are useful to feminist theories of the body. Rather than pointing toward the conventionalizing tendencies of the neurosciences, Wilson emphasizes their capacity for reinvention and transformation. Focusing on the details of neuronal connections, subcortical pathways, and reflex actions, she suggests that the central and peripheral nervous systems are powerfully allied with sexuality, the affects, emotional states, cognitive appetites, and other organs and bodies in ways not fully appreciated in the feminist literature. Whether reflecting on Simon LeVay s hypothesis about the brains of gay men, Peter Kramer s model of depression, or Charles Darwin s account of trembling and blushing, Wilson is able to show how the neurosciences can be used to reinvigorate feminist theories of the body. Seller Inventory # AAJ9780822333654

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