Explaining personhood in the neuroscientific age

The new style of thought in biological psychiatry not only establishes what counts as an explanation, it establishes what there is to explain. The deep psychological space that opened in the twentieth century has flattened out. In this new account of personhood, psychiatry no longer distinguishes between organic and functional disorders. It no longer concernes itself with the mind or the psyche. Mind is simply what the brain does. And mental pathology is simply the behavioural consequences of an identifiable, and potentially correctable, error or anomaly in some of those elements now identified as aspects of that organic brain. This is a shift in human ontology – in the kinds of persons we take ourselves to be. It entails a new way of seeing, judging, and acting upon human normality and abornomality. It enables us to be governed in new ways. And it enables us to govern ourselves differently.

Nikolas Rose, The Politics of Life Itself, Pg 192, Princeton University Press 

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