Spyros Petrounakos

Athens, Greece

About Spyros

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Freelance editor, translator and writer.

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142933
Spyros Petrounakos
Posted over 3 years ago
Ariel Garten: Know thyself, with a brain scanner
"Quite simply -- you want to know thyself, have a dialogue with yourself while going for a walk, or visiting green spaces in your city, meditate or do yoga...best of all, try sitting still and quiet for a while...and do this on a regular basis." Absolutely right
142933
Spyros Petrounakos
Posted over 3 years ago
Ariel Garten: Know thyself, with a brain scanner
The presentation raises some very interesting issues. Yet the connection between this undeniably useful and profitable new technology and the philosophically profound idea of self-knowledge is unconvincing. Self-knowledge is essentially connected to a reflective and introspective process. As such, the idea that it can be read off a screen is implausible. The possibility that what can be read off a screen may help people suffering from certain disorders is quite distinct as an issue. In fact, for all we know, self-knowledge that is gained through traditional methods, such as occasionally 'retreating' into thought, might be more helpful to those suffering from disorders of a certain kind. There is also no reason to believe that self-knowledge is the sort of thing that can be made to fit the demands of our distracted lives, especially if we are not willing to do any of the hard work. The attempt to underplay the importance of this work, e.g. by describing it in terms of a 'successful escape' or a 'vacation', seems more like an attempt to rationalize it away. If there is a vacation to be had, it probably lies more in the opposite direction. Most philosophers would probably agree that, just like concepts in science, technology, psychotherapy and art, philosophical concepts such as self-knowledge must be handled with care. The application of such concepts to brain technology, our life-style demands and business ideas is far from straightforward.