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Full-Text Articles in Philosophy

A Healthy Mania For The Macabre, Stephen Asma Aug 2012

A Healthy Mania For The Macabre, Stephen Asma

Stephen T Asma

The article discusses the fascination with death in art in response to several exhibits which display preserved human bodies, such as the "Body Worlds" traveling exhibit which features human bodies preserved with silicon after an acetone bath, a technique discovered by medical scientist Gunther von Hagens. The author looks at human curiosity with morbidity and artists such as Damien Hirst that use it as the focus of their work. Topics include comments by Richard Harris, creator of "Morbid Curiosity" exhibition in Chicago, Illinois, art historian Paul Koudounaris, and the beauty of death and morbidity according to New York artist and ...


Affective Neuroscience And The Philosophy Of Self, Stephen Asma Dec 2011

Affective Neuroscience And The Philosophy Of Self, Stephen Asma

Stephen T Asma

The nature of self awareness and the origin and persistence of personal identity still loom large in contemporary philosophy of mind. Many philosophers have been wooed by the computational approach to consciousness, and they attempt to find the self amidst the phenomenon of neocortical information processing. Affective neuroscience offers another pathway to understanding the evolution and nature of self. This paper explores how affective neuroscience acts as a positive game-changer in the philosophical pursuit of self. In particular, we focus on connecting 'mammalian agency' to (a) subjective awareness, and (b) identity through time.