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Wednesday, October 29, 2008

MercatorNet: Political science: voting by neurons

Casting your ballot comes down to your brain going ‘ding, ding, ding - this person is just like me’, according to junk science.
Neuroscience has only recently dragged itself from the Miasma of Freud. As Tom Wolfe put it in a recent interview,

Brain physiology, the overwhelmingly complicated business of figuring out how the brain works at the physical, neuronal, level had come to an all but dead stop thanks to the success of Freud. If you could go straight to the bottom line with Freud's approach, then why waste a career studying all the tedious mechanics involved?

Wolfe, who has recently backed away from the sympathy for hard materialism he displayed in Sorry, but your soul just died (1996), would doubtless be unhappy to learn that the neuroscience that so fascinates him has been recruited for the junk science circus around voting in the American election.

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