[SydPhil] Notification: Maureen O'Malley @ Thu 21 Sep 2017 09:00 - 10:00 (Current Projects)

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Fri Sep 15 09:00:01 AEST 2017

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Title: Maureen O'Malley
Do microbes control human minds? A critical survey of the literature

Microbiome research has had considerable success in analysing the molecular  
composition of microbial communities in the human body. Analyses of the gut  
microbiome in particular have found many associations between microbiota  
composition and human health or disease states. A recent focus has been on  
the connections between gut microbiota and human behavioural states. Links  
have been made repeatedly between microbiota composition and host disorders  
such as anorexia, autism, anxiety and depression. Microbiota even appear to  
have effects on general cognition and memory, both positive and negative.  
Some strong interpretations have been made of these findings, including  
claims that microbiota control behaviour in the same way puppeteers control  
puppets, or that microbiome findings are the final nail in the coffin of  
ideas about free will. I’ll discuss these claims in light of several broad  
problems in microbiome research, to do with causality, normality, and our  
evolutionary relationships with our microbes. I have presented my views on  
these issues to scientists, but not to philosophers. What I’m hoping for is  
feedback about how to develop my analysis of this field for a more  
philosophical audience.
When: Thu 21 Sep 2017 09:00 – 10:00 Eastern Time - Melbourne, Sydney
Where: The Muniment Room, Main Quad
Calendar: Current Projects
     * Kristie Miller- creator

Event details:  

Invitation from Google Calendar: https://protect-au.mimecast.com/s/NX12BDUYd2dYhY?domain=google.com

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