The Mind’s Eye
In “The Mind’s Eye,” Oliver Sacks explores the conundrum of the brain-mind problem through a series of contrasting case studies that focus on the visual experiences of the blind. Throughout each vignette, Sacks builds a complex debate as to whether or not the visual imagination of each impaired subject is the result of their biology (brain) or their own free will (mind).
Considering Sacks’ ideas, along with (1) Watters’ argument about how culture and biology shape our reality and (2) Foer’s argument that algorithms risk undermining our capacity for free thought, please respond to the prompt below:
“To what extent are we authors, the creators, of our own experiences (Sacks 329)?”
While you are in not obligated to respond to the following questions, they may assist you in thinking about your response to the prompt:
· How does our culture (family, nationality, social media, etc.) affect our thoughts and perceptions?
· “How much are (our experiences) predetermined by the brains or senses that we are born with, and to what extent do we shape our brains through experience” (Sacks 329)?
· In what way do we create or ‘curate’ our experiences on Facebook and other forms of social media? How much are they created or curated for us by tech companies? Are our online selves becoming equivalent to (or even more essential than) our ‘real’ flesh-and-blood selves?
· How does creativity enhance our sensual experience?
· In what ways might neuroscience foster greater understanding and tolerance for diversity in human behavior?
Use the authors’ examples to inform YOUR analysis. Expand your ideas based on close reading of the texts.
Rough Draft 1 Due: As a hard copy in class on Wednesday, November 21. Please upload (as an attachment) to Paper #5: Rough Draft 1 on the Assignments tab of our Sakai site (sakai.rutgers.edu) by 9:00 AM on Wednesday, November 21. Rough drafts must be three full pages in length.
Rough Draft 2 Due: As a hard copy in class on Wednesday, November 28. Please upload (as an attachment) to Paper #5: Rough Draft 2 on the Assignments tab of our Sakai site (sakai.rutgers.edu) by 9:00 AM on Wednesday, November 28. Rough drafts must be four full pages in length and should be significantly revised from Rough Draft 1.
Final Draft Due: As a hard copy in class on Wednesday, December 5. Please upload (as an attachment) to Paper #5: Final Draft on the Assignments tab of our Sakai site (sakai.rutgers.edu) by 9:00 AM on Wednesday, December 5. Final drafts must be five full pages in length.
Late rough drafts will result in a half-letter grade deduction from the final draft of Paper 5. Late final drafts will result in a full-letter grade deduction from the final draft of Paper 5.
Required formatting: Word document (not Google doc/PDF) stapled, double-spaced, 1-inch margins, 12-pt. font (Times New Roman), MLA format (Your headers, page numbers, and quotations should be formatted properly. See The Pocket Wadsworth Handbook.)