Neglect: Reflections between Neurosciences and Philosophy

– S. Benvenuto, “Neglect: Reflections Between Neurosciences and Philosophy”, American Imago, Fall 2021, vol. 78, n. 3, pp. 447-462.


The author describes the neurological syndrome called Unilateral Spatial Neglect and analyzes the reasons –neurological and not –why it is generally the left side of something that patients “neglect.” This specificity explains the meanings that left and right hold in almost all cultures (including today’s political sense) and shows the neurological basis for these different cultural meanings. In the second part, the author widens the scope of his analysis to ask if we can think of any case involving a universal “neglect” of something by humanity as such –something that, in any case, sometimes breaks our “environmental” space of meanings. The author develops the distinction between “environment” and “world” developed by von Uexküll and Heidegger, in order to outline the space of this “real” which we, as Homo sapiens, are all driven to neglect.

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