Neuroscience and the premature death the soul

Tom Wolfe: his 1996 predictions foreshadowed dubious media stories of neural circuits for infidelity and political orientation. Photograph: Jim Cooper/AP Exactly 20 years ago, Tom Wolfe wrote one of the most influential articles in neuroscience. Titled Sorry, But Your Soul Just Died, the 1996 article explores how ideas from brain science were beginning to transform our understanding of human nature and extend the horizons of our scientific imagination. It was published in a mainstream magazine, written by an outsider, and seemed to throw open the doors to an exhilarating revolution in science and self-understanding. Looking at the state of neuroscience and society two decades later, Wolfe turned out to be an insightful but uneven prophet to the brain’s future. Wolfe has had to recant his assertion that brain scanning would…


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