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Tim Ingold - The Social Brain (part 2)

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Uploaded on Jun 5, 2010

INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE
03-05 FEBRUARY 2010
AT THE DANISH SCHOOL OF EDUCATION,
AARHUS UNIVERSITY, COPENHAGEN

According to the so-called 'social brain' hypothesis, the expansion of the neocortex in human evolution is an adaptive response to the demands of managing social relationships in groups of increasing size. To simultaneously process and manipulate information about multiple relationships, it is argued, calls for a brain with formidable computing power. In this lecture I show that the hypothesis is misconceived in three respects. First, it rests on a false opposition between social and ecological relations. Second, it wrongly assumes that the workings of the mind can be equated with the operation of neural machinery internal to the organism. Third, treating the brain as a computational organ, it artificially divides the brain from the body that responds to its commands. I argue, to the contrary, that the brain is not an organ but an entanglement of neural tissue, that the patterns of activation in this tissue are inseparable from those conducted throughout the body, and that these patterns spill out into the world along lines of movement and growth. As a knotting together of these lines, the brain is social in a sense more fundamental than that envisaged by 'social brain' theorists. Indeed the sociality of the brain is none other than that of life itself.


[mp3] - http://www.archive.org/download/TimIn...
[original link] - http://www.dpu.dk/site.aspx?p=14668

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