Composing a neuronal consensus: There is no Blind Brain Theory (a Latourian analysis)

This is the cover for a forthcoming book on the Blind Brain Theory (BBT) proposed by R.Scott Bakker, an author of science fiction and science fantasy. The full title is “Through the Brain Darkly: The Blind Brain Theory of R. Scott Bakker (Preface by Ray Bassier; Edited by Dan Mellamphy)“.

The book is supposed to contain commentaries on and criticisms of the theory (a materialist account of the mind as reducible to the brain, a form of radical eliminitavism) with replies by Bakker. Dan Mellamphy is a university lecturer specialising in literary modernism, and Ray Brassier is a philosopher specialising in philosophical realism, and heavily under the influence of both materialism and the cognitive sciences.

Comment: the aim of Bakker is to create a new type of “hard” science fantasy based on the cognitive sciences rather than physics.

1) The project of creating a new type science fantasy in a unified work is interrupted by the encounter with cognitive science publications, and leads to the detour of creating his own “pop” philosophico-scientific theory.

2) The aim of of this pop-philosophical theory is to establish the non-autonomy of the mind in relation to the brain, its ontological elimination. The method is to appeal to cognitive science, relying on the autonomy of science.

3) The project of legitimating the supposed philosophical theory, based on the selective extrapolation of cherry-picked findings of cognitive science is interrupted by an encounter with Dan Mellamphy, who proposes the creation of a book, an anthology containing multiple points of view, and Bakker’s replies.

4) The book, edited by Mellamphy, permits the creation of a unified image projected backwards to become the unified source of the fictional and philosophical extrapolations.

5) The project of such a book, in order to gain philosophical recognition encounters Ray Brassier, an established philosopher in the domain of “hard” neurophilosophy, who can legitimate the book via the detour of a Preface.

Stakeholders:

1) R.Scott Bakker, (born 1967, Simcoe, Ontario), Canadian fantasy author, University of Western Ontario, MA in literary theory and criticism. Begun but dropped out of PhD in philosophy, Vanderbilt University. Lives in London, Ontario.

2) Dan Mellamphy, PhD English Literature, The University of Western Ontario, Humanities, Adjunct Teaching-Faculty.

3) Ray Brassier, (born 1965), PhD Philosophy, philosophy faculty American University of Beirut, Lebanon.

Translations:

1) diverse (cherry-picked)  results of cognitive science> unified worldview> science fantasy epic. 2) unified worldview> pop-philosophical theory> unifying book> legitimating preface.

Composition: theory+sf epic+book+preface=> inescapable scientifically, philosophically, and fictionally established worldview: neuro-philosophical eliminativism.

Conclusion: there is in fact no “Blind Brain Theory”, but by mobilising various actors a pseudo-foundation for a “savvy” soft-science SF series can be seen to have a philosophical foundation.

Further conclusion: Ray Brassier has been trapped into endorsing a marketing strategy disguised as a marginal philosophical contribution to recent Speculative Realism debates, founding metaphysically a soft science fictional epic.

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One Response to Composing a neuronal consensus: There is no Blind Brain Theory (a Latourian analysis)

  1. Paul says:

    It’s actually a mockup cover using the design of Bakker’s novel Neuropath: http://us.macmillan.com/neuropath/RScottBakker

    Like

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