Michael Hagner: "What the heart tells you about the brain and the mind"


June 20th 2024, 6-8pm, Hörsaal 3A (NIG), Department of Philosophy (and online)

The Reading Circle of the Research Group “Poststructuralism, Gender Theory, Psychoanalysis” at the University of Vienna cordially invites you to the next public event:


Michael Hagner (ETH Zürich):

"What the heart tells you about the brain and the mind"


The relationship between body and mind occupies a central place in the history of European philosophy and science. Given the long period of around 2500 years, it may come as a surprise that no more than four theories have been developed since Greek antiquity to invent and understand this relationship. According to the first theory, which was valid for almost 2000 years, the mind is the result of a combination of (physical) matter and (animated) form. The second theory consists of an ontological dualism that separates body and mind. According to the third theory, the mind is a property of the body, or more precisely: of the brain. And with the fourth theory, the mind is again detached from the body: mind can also be realized in other matter, e.g. in a computer. My lecture is about the role that the heart plays in the first three theories. Aristotle is known to have argued that the heart (and not the brain) is the seat of the soul. What is less well known is that the heart also features in ontological dualism and in the modern theory of homo cerebralis: as an organic or metaphorical antagonist that challenges the purity and rationality of the mind.


Gemeinsame Lektüre: "Brave Neuro Worlds" (1999/2006)


Since 2021 the Reading Circle PS-GT-PA includes public events additionally to the monthly readings. Lectures and workshops have been held with Brian Massumi, Erin Manning, Avital Ronell, Didier Debaise, Shomo Choudhury, Alexis Shotwell and Vera Bühlmann.