Maria Brincker, Ph.D.
I am interested in developing better theoretical frameworks for empirical psychologists and neuroscientists to work with. More specifically, I hope my work can help researchers see the empirical invalidity of many mechanistic and disembodied assumptions inherent in current cognitive models. I am generally sympathetic to enactive and embodied approaches to cognition and to ambitions of looking at cognitive processes as temporal and as physically, socially, historically and contextually situated, and of grounding higher cognition in more basic sensorimotor and somatic functions. However, so far many such theoretical ambitions have fallen short of specific and applicable positive theories, and many 'embodied' theories suffer from too much abstraction themselves. Ideas thus need to be better rooted in biological and behavioral detail to more directly provide new paradigms for scientific research. My current main neuroscience collaboration is with Elizabeth Torres at Rutgers (see articles & press).
Within philosophy my work will normally be categorized as pertaining to philosophy of neuroscience, mind and cognitive science, but often it also touches on issues of scientific methodology, epistemology, metaphysics, language, ethics, aesthetics, education, privacy and technology. Omnipresent in my work is the oddly appendixed field of history of philosophy and I can proudly label most of my ideas as having a high percentage of recycled material.
See here for more classic philosophy sub-field labels for these projects
Philosophical Activism & the Contextual Mind:A further practical and political project intimately linked to my empirical analyses of relational aspects of the mind - is that I here see a vindication of the humanities. The wide spread science-envy and the so-called 'crisis of the humanities' must be reconsidered when what we find in the heart of the natural sciences is a deeply contextual, cultural, historical and social mind. Please stop defunding the backbones of civilization - and let the hard sciences advance by understanding their own theories and creative value laden processes of fact discovery.
My concerns about race, gender and privacy issues are on the one hand a personal response to current politics but on the other hand an integral piece of my contextual cognitive projects. The glue between my practical and theoretical philosophical interests is thus the idea that normativity, historicity and sociality are core features of the dynamic human mind and engagements - from the perceptual to the political.
Here are a couple of more isolated short feminist pieces: 1) on the biological incoherence of neo-liberalism and the "pro-life" stance 'Pregnancy - a paradox for ultra-individualism', 2) on the dangers of baby face masks in the public image called 'Botoxing Female Authority' and 3) on the value of women flirting with women entitled 'Beyond Bitches and Caregivers'. And here some ponderings on women and the societies that harbor them.