Solymosi – Neuropragmatic Tools for Neurotechnological Culture

Tibor Solymosi

Westminster College

Neuropragmatism draws on Larry Hickman’s conception of technology and technoscience and his distinction between nature-as-nature and nature-as-culture. Just as the technical precedes the scientific, nature comes before the cultural — all the while science remains technical, culture natural — these parallel distinctions not only clarify limitations within cultural neuroscience or neuroanthropology (notably, the creeping Cartesian materialism) but also provide means for imagining future democratic vistas. This act of imagination is a further call for reconstructing our sense of ourselves in our world by expanding, and thereby enriching, the transaction between organism and environment such that the cybernetic and the neural are no longer restrained to the bodily but become embedded in our biocultural environments.

Neuropragmatism provides a vision of neurotechnological culture, in both means and end, that is an ecologically novel future for how we construct our democratic niches. To achieve such a richly cybernetic culture, a vision must be sketched that is scientifically reasonable, in order to generate realistic hope that such a way of life is readily available from where we are now, given enthusiasms (warranted or not) about technology, and fears (warranted or not) that democracy is on its way out.

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