Wednesday, July 11, 2012

A neuro-critical book I won’t be reading anytime soon

Not for lack of interest. I’ve recently learned of a publication so relevant to what I’m working on that I rushed to get it for my Kindle - Critical Neuroscience: A Handbook of the Social and Cultural Contexts of Neuroscience:

The Kindle version costs…

$109.97. (A savings – the hardcover is $152!) Seriously, Wiley-Blackwell? Especially stupid since, as the authors note, the book is intended for a wider audience, to which it might well appeal judging from the sample I read. Utterly ridiculous.

At least I was able to read a couple of articles by the book’s authors – “Critical Neuroscience: Linking Neuroscience and Society through Critical Practice” and “Steps towards a Critical Neuroscience” – here.

Critical neuroscience (they have a blog, but there are no posts since 2010) is the broader category in which critical psychiatry, in important respects, belongs. As the authors describe in the introduction:

The goal of critical neuroscience is to create a space within and around the field of neuroscience to analyze how the brain has come to be cast as increasingly relevant in explaining and intervening in individual and collective behaviors, to what ends, and at what costs.

All of this work is closely related to my discussion of Erich Fromm and humanistic psychiatry (to which I’ll be returning shortly!), which makes the book’s inaccessibility extremely aggravating. I would almost put out a request for donations, but I fear that even if I had the money my Yankee fingers would refuse to click the purchase button. $109.97. What’s the world coming to?

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