Tuesday, May 13, 2008

The brain - In Our Time review

BBC's In Our Time paid attention to the history of the brain. This is not a biological or paleontological history of the brain, but rather a cultural history; a history of how we came to perceive the brain.

The ancient Greeks had their respect for the brain and some surmised the brain may be the center of all. But for western history Galen became dominant and he emphasized the heart. Hence, medical practices focused on the heart and the metaphors we used to address the soul, the center of human being, of thought and emotions we also pointed to the heart, as does much of our language still today.

Only in recent history, with the advance of medical technology, it came to be understood just how central the brain is.

Previously on In Our Time:
General review of In Our Time,
Yeats, Enclosures and Materialism,
King Lear,
Ada Lovelace,
The Social Contract,
Plate Tectonics.

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