Science Café Cleveland – The Mind’s Essential Tension: How Neuroscience Can and Must Drive a New Renaissance


Talk Science, Drink Beer

  • Venue:Concert Hall
  • Showtime:7:00 pm
  • Doors open:5:30 pm
  • All Ages, Free Admission

Join scientists from across the region for a lively discussion of science topics.
These events are FREE/no cover charge and open to the public.
A full menu and bar are available.
Anthony Jack, PhD
Associate Professor of Philosophy,
Case Western Reserve University
The Mind’s Essential Tension: How Neuroscience Can and Must Drive a New Renaissance
Near the end of the last century, new neuroimaging techniques were discovered (e.g., PET and fMRI) that allowed researchers to look at the workings of the human brain in action! Since then, billions of dollars have been invested in neuroimaging research, and hundreds of thousands of publications have been produced. So, what have we discovered? Until recently, the answer was: many little things, but nothing big. However, as researchers started to take a step back to look at the forest instead of the trees, something big and surprising has emerged!

This talk tells the story of neuroimaging’s revolutionary new finding that human reasoning and intelligence are not unified, as has been commonly assumed. Human reason is fundamentally divided, with one pole serving “analytic reason” (the detached, logical, and reductive approach familiar to lovers of science) and the other serving “empathic reason” – a type of intelligence that is less well-understood, yet which is known to be critical to social connection, health, ethics, and to our sense of meaning and purpose in life.

Post-industrial culture has increasingly focused on analytic reason while neglecting, and even demeaning, empathic reason. This unbalanced approach is badly undermining personal and societal well-being. It is linked to a crisis in public health, to tears in our social fabric, and to the undermining of the public acceptance of science. Fortunately, neuroscience – along with some out-of-fashion ideas in philosophy and psychology – can point the way to a new Renaissance!

Event Sponsors

  • The Case Western Reserve chapter of Sigma Xi
  • WCPN ideastream
  • ACES+ program at Case Western Reserve University
  • Music Box Supper Club

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