Psychology colloquium - Eugenics, Psychology, and the Mind

Event status:

Rob Wilson La Trobe University A Department of Psychology and Counselling colloquium presented by Prof. Rob Wilson, Department of Philosophy, La Trobe University.

Thursday 21 March 2019 04:00 pm until Thursday 21 March 2019 05:00 pm (Add to calendar)
Maarten van den Buuse
Presented by:
Prof. Rob Wilson
Type of Event:

I will appeal to 4E-approaches to cognition - embodied, embedded, extended, enactive cognition - to address two issues that arise with respect to eugenics, the puzzle of marked variation and the persistence of eugenic practices. The first can be put as a simple question: why do we attend to just some kinds of variation in human populations? Here I focus on disablement as one key form that marked variation takes in eugenic thinking, but this generalizes to race and ethnicity. To address the second, I articulate the idea of eugenics as wrongful accusation, drawing a parallel with ritual sexual abuse cases.

Speaker information

Rob Wilson grew up in Broken Hill and Perth. He completed a BA(Hons) in Philosophy at the University of WA and his MA and PhD in Philosophy at Cornell University while a Fulbright Scholar. He is currently Professor of Philosophy at La Trobe University, after teaching previously at the University of Alberta, the University of Illinois, where he was a member of the Cognitive Science Group at the Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology, and at Queen’s University. Wilson's chief research and teaching expertise is in the philosophy of mind, cognitive science, and the philosophy of biology. In 2009, he was elected as a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada.

He is the organizer of the Melbourne-based PEiPL network and co-director and executive producer of the documentary film Surviving Eugenics (2015). Rob’s previous books include Boundaries of the Mind (Cambridge, 2004) and Genes and the Agents of Life (Cambridge, 2005). He was also the chief general editor of The MIT Encyclopedia of the Cognitive Sciences (MIT Press, 1999), and winner of the American Association of Publishers’ PROSE Award in the category of Psychology in 1999. His most recent book is The Eugenic Mind Project (MIT Press, 2018).

Lecture details

Thursday March 21, Time: 4 - 5 pm
WLT-3, Bundoora campus;
Wodonga AW1 113 Library Meeting Room; Bendigo AS2-224B.


For more information please contact seminar convener Prof Maarten van den Buuse.


West Lecture Theatres

La Trobe University Victoria 3086



13th Nov 2019 3:02pm

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