Invitation Lecture Michael Hagner

20th June

The research group „Poststructuralism, Gender Theory, Psychoanalysis" cordially invites you to the next session in our reading-circle-series:

Michael Hagner (ETH Zürich): „What the heart tells you about the brain and the mind“

June 20, 6-8pm (CEST), lecture room HS 3A (NIG, Universitätsstraße 7, 1010 Wien) and Online


The relationship between body and mind occupies a central place in the history of European philosophy and science. Given the long period of around 2500 years, it may come as a surprise that no more than four theories have been developed since Greek antiquity to invent and understand this relationship. According to the first theory, which was valid for almost 2000 years, the mind is the result of a combination of (physical) matter and (animated) form. The second theory consists of an ontological dualism that separates body and mind. According to the third theory, the mind is a property of the body, or more precisely: of the brain. And with the fourth theory, the mind is again detached from the body: mind can also be realized in other matter, e.g. in a computer. My lecture is about the role that the heart plays in the first three theories. Aristotle is known to have argued that the heart (and not the brain) is the seat of the soul. What is less well known is that the heart also features in ontological dualism and in the modern theory of homo cerebralis: as an organic or metaphorical antagonist that challenges the purity and rationality of the mind.