Neuro & the Readable Mind

6 June | Senate House, London

If we can ‘read’ the mind in the brain itself, what then? Nikolas Rose, Professor of Sociology and Head of the Department of Social Science, Health and Medicine at King’s College London, joined us for a seminar and discussion on June 6.

The human body was made legible long ago. But what of the human mind? Is it possible to ‘read’ the mind, for one human being to know what another is thinking or feeling, their beliefs and intentions. And if I can read your mind, how about others – could our authorities, in the criminal justice system or the security services? Some developments in contemporary neuroscience suggest the answer to this question is ‘yes’.

While philosophers continue to debate the mind-brain problem, a range of novel technologies of brain imaging have been used to argue that specific mental states, and even specific thoughts, can be identified by characteristic patterns of brain activation; this has led some to propose their use in practices ranging from lie detection and security screening to the assessment of brain activity in persons in persistent vegetative states. In this talk, Nikolas Rose explores some of the epistemological and ontological mutations involved, and considered some implications of this materialization of the readable, knowable, transparent mind.

Our Seminar Series

The Human Mind Project Seminar Series invites experts from diverse disciplines to discuss their research on the human mind. A lecture of around 45 minutes is followed by questions and debate, after which a wine reception provides opportunity of networking.



18:00 Lecture with Nikolas Rose

18:45 Discussion

19:30 Wine Reception


Neuro & the Readable Mind is organized by the team of The Human Mind Project. An inclusive hub for the facilitation of interdisciplinary dialogue and enquiry, The Human Mind Project aims to define the major intellectual challenges facing research on the human mind.