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Dr Boris Kotchoubey
researcher at the Institute of Medical Psychology and Behavioral Neurobiology at the University of Tübingen

In psychology, the biggest problem is the increasing gap between humanitarian/hermeneutical and neurobiological approaches. Some 30 years ago, a movement to bridge this gap was present. Now the divergence between brain-oriented and humanity-oriented psychologists is dramatic. If psychology (which is, more than any other activity, predestined to remain in contact with both domains) is unable to close the fissure between the so-called ‘two cultures’, I wonder how our civilization as a whole will deal with the problem of co-existence of two different images of Man (humanitarian-responsible and naturalist-deterministic).

Some issues are very simple. People should remember such elementary truths as ‘there is no insurance for everything’ or ‘there is no free breakfast’. Remember that life is a dynamic, not a static equilibrium. That it is impossible to win in a lottery if you haven’t bought a ticket. That if you don’t want to defend yourself against possible danger, nobody else has a duty to defend you. That albeit many people actually help me through my life, nobody must do so. Yes, I am a little ashamed to write such truisms. But I am really surprised at how many have forgotten all of this.

Boris Kotchoubey is a contributor to Plasticity in Epilepsy: Dynamic Aspects of Brain Function (buy this book from Amazon (UK) or Amazon (USA)), and System Theories and A Priori Aspects of Perception (buy this book from Amazon (UK) or Amazon (USA)).

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