In this Book

University of California Press
summary
Throughout the twentieth century, neuronal researchers knew the adult human brain to be a thoroughly fixed and immutable cellular structure, devoid of any developmental potential. Plastic Reason is a study of the efforts of a few Parisian neurobiologists to overturn this rigid conception of the central nervous system by showing that basic embryogenetic processes—most spectacularly the emergence of new cellular tissue in the form of new neurons, axons, dendrites, and synapses—continue in the mature brain. Furthermore, these researchers sought to demonstrate that the new tissues are still unspecific and hence literally plastic, and that this cellular plasticity is constitutive of the possibility of the human. Plastic Reason, grounded in years of fieldwork and historical research, is an anthropologist’s account of what has arguably been one of the most sweeping events in the history of brain research—the highly contested effort to consider the adult brain in embryogenetic terms. A careful analysis of the disproving of an established truth, it reveals the turmoil that such a disruption brings about and the emergence of new possibilities of thinking and knowing.

Table of Contents

  1. Cover
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  1. Title Page, Cover, Dedication
  2. pp. i-vi
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  1. Contents
  2. pp. vii-viii
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  1. Illustrations
  2. pp. ix-x
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  1. The Ground of the Argument
  2. pp. xi-xiv
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  1. Note on Technical Terms
  2. pp. xv-xviii
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  1. Acknowledgments
  2. pp. xix-xxiv
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  1. On Growth and Form
  2. pp. 1-2
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  1. ONE. Entry
  2. pp. 3-10
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  1. Observation
  2. pp. 11-14
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  1. TWO. Relational
  2. pp. 15-54
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  1. Regional Rationalities
  2. pp. 55-58
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  1. THREE. Conceptual
  2. pp. 59-90
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  1. Histories of Truth
  2. pp. 91-94
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  1. FOUR. Nocturnal
  2. pp. 95-136
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  1. Vital Concepts
  2. pp. 137-142
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  1. FIVE. Experimental
  2. pp. 143-184
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  1. Plastic Anatomies of the Living
  2. pp. 185-190
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  1. SIX. Ethical
  2. pp. 191-220
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  1. Humility
  2. pp. 221-222
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  1. SEVEN. Letting Go
  2. pp. 223-226
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  1. The Plastic
  2. pp. 227-230
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  1. Coda: Plasticity after 2003
  2. pp. 231-234
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  1. Notes
  2. pp. 235-280
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  1. Bibliography
  2. pp. 281-314
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  1. Index
  2. pp. 315-323
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Additional Information

ISBN
9780520963177
Related ISBN
9780520288126
MARC Record
OCLC
945771887
Pages
352
Launched on MUSE
2016-05-30
Language
English
Open Access
No
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