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"...In difficult and cynical times, the wise go inward..."
-Bertrand Russell

The Neurobioethics.org logo, The Labrynthine Brain, by Sherry Loveless, is representative of the traditions, tasks and potential capabilities of neurobioethics. The word labyrinth is derived from the antiquarian Lydian term, labrys, a two-sided axe that possessed the power for both good and evil, right and wrong, healing and harm. Author Virginia Westbury notes that like the two-sided axe, the labyrinth also provides two possibilities- it is both a way in and a way out. So, too, neurobioethics; in its first tradition, it is a way into the neural bases of morality, and in its second tradition, it is the study of how we employ this morality to analyze and enact the outward expression of neuroscientific research and applications. These traditions and tasks call for wisdom in the uses of knowledge which, like the axe, is but a tool.

To be sure, the labyrinth is also something of a maze, with its twists, turns, and dead ends. In many ways, this represents our study of the brain, mind, and perhaps neuroethics, itself. But, unlike a mere maze, the labyrinth offers something much more profound. Its power lies not in a destination, but in the reflective and meditative capacity of the journey taken. Thus, the way in to the labyrinth can lead outward to much broader contemplation. In this way, the labyrinth is a fitting symbol for neurobiothics- it is, more surely a powerful and iterative path.

 


 
 
 

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