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A Penny For Your Thoughts: Brain-Scans And The Mediation Of Subjective Embodiment

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Chapter Summary

Brain-scans promise to disclose something of our very essence as persons as they open our minds for visual inspection. Body images are constructed out of a variety of ideals, experiences and notions, including the kind of notions that Joseph Dumit has assembled under the concept of 'objective-selves'. This chapter aims to unpack Bruno Latour's example as an instance of what it means to 'learn to be affected', taking it more seriously than Latour might have meant it to be. The images provided by brain-scans acquire a different or at least much more pertinent experiential meaning when they are encountered directly, for instance because it is part of one's diagnostic trajectory in a hospital. To the extent that brain-scans figure as material artifacts in the performative articulation and social enactment of subjective embodiment, they may even complexify and enrich our notions of our own and others' personalities.

Keywords: body images; brain-scans; Bruno Latour; Joseph Dumit; subjective embodiment

10.1163/ej.9789004176218.i-228.34
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