Fernando Vidal

Visiting Scholar
Ph.D., Research Professor, Catalan Institution of Research and Advanced Studies
Residence:
June 1, 2016 to June 30, 2016
Profile

I was born and raised in Buenos Aires (and later became Swiss), was an undergraduate at Harvard, did graduate work in developmental psychology and the history and philosophy of science at the Universities of Geneva and Paris, received my PhD from Geneva, and a Habilitation from the Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales. I have been a Guggenheim Fellow, as well as an Athena Fellow of the Swiss National Science Foundation. I have worked on various topics in the history of the human sciences, including the early development of psychology and anthropology, sexuality in the 18th century, psychoanalysis and psychiatry in the early 20th century, the progressive education movement in the interwar years, and miracles and science in the early modern period and the Enlightenment. My publications include Piaget Before Piaget (1994), an edition of Jean Starobinski’s writings on the history of the body (Las razones del cuerpo, 1999), The Moral Authority of Nature (2004, co-edited with Lorraine Daston), Believing Nature, Knowing God (a thematic issue of Science in Context, 2007, co-edited with Bernhard Kleeberg), Neurocultures (co-edited with Francisco Ortega, 2011), and The Sciences of the Soul: The Early Modern Origins of Psychology (2011, original French 2006). My current work deals with the cultural history of the "cerebral subject" - from film and science fiction to neurobics and neurophilosophy - to understand the emergence and contemporary forms of the belief that the brain is the only part of the body we need in order to be ourselves. I am more generally interested in the longue-durée history of the relations between notions of  bodily continuity and personal identity. I also coordinate the project "Endangerment and Its Consequences." For more information, see Projects, "The Cerebral Subject" and "Working Group."

Selected publications: 

Fernando Vidal, Extraordinary Bodies and the Physicotheological Imagination. (Max-Planck-Institut für Wissenschaftsgeschichte, Berlin, 2001).

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Fernando Vidal, Nymphomania and the gendering of the imagination in the eighteenth century. (Max-Planck-Institut für Wissenschaftsgeschichte, Berlin, 2003).

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Fernando Vidal and Nelia Dias, The endangerment sensibility. (Max-Planck-Institut für Wissenschaftsgeschichte, Berlin, 2014).

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Fernando Vidal, "Miracles, science, and testimony in post-Tridentine saint-making," (2007).

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Fernando Vidal, "Brainhood, anthropology of modernity," (2009).

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Fernando Vidal, The Sciences of the Soul: the Early Modern Origins of Psychology. (University of Chicago Press, Chicago).

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Fernando Vidal, "Brains, bodies, selves, and science: anthropologies of identity and the resurrection of the body", in History of medicine. Vol. 4: Medicine in postmodernity, edited by Roger Cooter (Routledge, London [u.a.], 2015), pp. 301-342.

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Fernando Vidal, "La 'science de l'homme': désirs d'unité et juxtapositions encyclopédiques", in L'histoire des sciences de l'homme: trajectoire, enjeux et questions vives, edited by Claude Blanckaert (L'Harmattan, Paris, 1999), pp. 61-77.

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Fernando Vidal, "La psychologie empirique et son historicisation pendant l'Aufklärung," Revue d'Histoire des Sciences Humaines 2, 29-56 (2000).

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Fernando Vidal, "The eighteenth century as 'century of psychology'," Jahrbuch für Recht und Ethik = Annual Review of Law and Ethics 8, 407-434 (2000).

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Fernando Vidal, "Le sujet cérébral: une esquisse historique et conceptuelle," Psychiatrie, Sciences Humaines, Neurosciences 3 (11), 37-48 (2005).

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Fernando Vidal, "Psychologie empirique et méthodologie des sciences au siècle des Lumières. L’exemple de Jean Trembley," Archives des Sciences 57 (1), 17-39 (2004).

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Fernando Vidal, "Miracles, science, and testimony in post-tridentine Saint-making," Science in Context 20 (3), 481-508 (2007).

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Fernando Vidal, "Ghosts, the economy of religion, and the laws of princes: Dom Calmet's 'Treatise on the apparitions of spirits'", in Gespenster und Politik: 16. bis 21. Jahrhundert, edited by Claire Gantet and Fabrice d'Almeida (Fink, München, 2007), pp. 103-126.

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Fernando Vidal, "Tel 'La glace d'un miroir': le témoignage des miracles dans les canonisations des lumières," Dix-huitième siècle 39, 76-98 (2007).

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Fernando Vidal, "'Eternal sunshine of the spotless mind' and the cultural history of the self," WerkstattGeschichte 16 (45), 96-109 (2007).

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Fernando Vidal, "Die Geschichte der Psychologie als zentrales Element der 'Geschichte der Menschheit'", in Die Wissenschaft vom Menschen in Göttingen um 1800: wissenschaftliche Praktiken, institutionelle Geographie, europäische Netzwerke, edited by Hans Erich Bödeker, Philippe Büttgen, and Michel Espagne (Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, Göttingen, 2008), pp. 177-198.

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Fernando Vidal, "[Entry] 'Piaget'", in The new dictionary of scientific biography. Vol. 6, edited by Noretta Koertge (Thomson, Detroit [u.a.], 2008), pp. 90-96.

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Fernando Vidal, "Review of: Wright, John P. and Paul Potter (eds.): Psyche and soma: physicians and metaphysicians on the mind-body problem from antiquity to Enlightenment. Oxford: Clarendon Press 2000," Bulletin of the History of Medicine 76 (3), 591-593 (2002).

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Fernando Vidal, "Soul", in Encyclopedia of the enlightenment. Vol. 4, edited by Alan Charles Kors (Oxford Univ. Press, Oxford [u.a.], 2003), pp. 105-106.

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Fernando Vidal, Les sciences de l'ame, XVIe-XVIIIe siècle. (Champion, Paris, 2006).

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Fernando Vidal, "[Entry] 'Sujet cérébral'", in Le dictionnaire du corps: en sciences humaines et sociales, edited by Bernard Andrieu (CNRS, Paris, 2006), pp. 485-486.

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Fernando Vidal, "'A mais útil de todas as ciências': configurações da psicologia desde o Renascimento tardio até o fim do Iluminismo", in História da psicologia: rumos e percursos, edited by Ana Maria Jacó-Vilela, Arthur Arruda Leal Ferreira, and Francisco Teixeira Portugal (Nau Editora, Rio de Janeiro, 2006), pp. 47-73.

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Fernando Vidal (ed), 'La vanité de la nomenclature' et autres écrits de jeunesse de Jean Piaget. (1999).

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Fernando Vidal, "Sabina Spielrein, Jean Piaget - going their own ways," Journal of Analytical Psychology 46 (1), 139-153 (2001).

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Fernando Vidal, "Nymphomania and the gendering of the imagination in the eighteenth century", in Sexualität und Imagination: Pathologien der Einbildungskraft im medizinischen Diskurs der frühen Neuzeit, edited by Stefanie Zaun, Daniela Watzke, and Jörn Steigerwald (Klostermann, Frankfurt am Main, 2004), pp. 165-192.

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Fernando Vidal, "La 'fine peau de l'apparence': style et présence au monde chez Jean Starobinski", in Starobinski en mouvement, edited by Murielle Gagnebin and Christine Savinel (Champ Vallon, Seyssel, 2001), pp. 216-227.

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Fernando Vidal, "Piaget avant Piaget. Pour une relecture de l'oeuvre piagétienne", in L'esprit piagétien: hommage international à Jean Piaget, edited by Olivier Houdé and Claire Meljac (Presses Universitaires de France, Paris, 2000), pp. 21-37.

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Fernando Vidal, "Brains, bodies, selves, and science: Anthropologies of identity and the resurrection of the body," Critical Inquiry 28 (4), 930-974 (2002).

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Fernando Vidal, "Jean Piaget", in The Freud encyclopedia: theory, therapy, and culture, edited by Edward Erwin (Routledge, New York, 2002), pp. 420-422.

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Fernando Vidal, "Jean Piaget", in Dictionnaire international de la psychanalyse: concepts, notions, biographies, oeuvres, événements, institutions, edited by Alain de Mijolla (Calmann-Lévy, Paris, 2002), pp. 1231-1232.

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Fernando Vidal, "Le sujet et les frontières de la psychologie, XVIIIe-XXe siècles," Bulletin de la Société Française pour l'Histoire des Sciences de l'Homme 23 (Printemps), 40-50 (2002).

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Fernando Vidal, "Sabina Spielrein", in The Freud encyclopedia: theory, therapy, and culture, edited by Edward Erwin (Routledge, New York, 2002), pp. 535-537.

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Fernando Vidal, "Contextual biography and the evolving systems approach to creativity," Creativity Research Journal 15 (1), 73-82 (2003).

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Fernando Vidal, "Extraordinary bodies and the physicotheological imagination", in The faces of nature in Enlightenment Europe, edited by Lorraine Daston and Gianna Pomata (BWV - Berliner Wissenschafts-Verlag, Berlin, 2003), pp. 61-96.

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Fernando Vidal, "Knowledge and belief. Boundaries and relationships," Gegenworte 12, 38-43 (2003).

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Fernando Vidal, "A psicologia e os saberes do Renascimento ao século XX," Revista do Departamento de Psicologia - UFF 15 (2), 15-36 (2003).

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Fernando Vidal, "Immanence, affectivité et démocracie dans 'Le jugement moral chez l'enfant'," Bulletin de Psychologie 51(5) (437), 585-597 (1998).

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Fernando Vidal, "Le discours de la méthode dans la psychologie des Lumières", in Marges et marginalisations dans l'histoire de la psychologie, edited by Michel Kail (L'Harmattan, Paris, 2008), pp. 53-82.

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Fernando Vidal, "Brainhood, anthropological figure of modernity," History of the Human Sciences 22 (1), 5-36 (2009).

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Fernando Vidal, "Ghosts of the European Enlightenment", in Rethinking ghosts in world religions, edited by Mu-chou Poo (Brill, Leiden [u.a.], 2009), pp. 163-182.

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Fernando Vidal, "Ectobrains in the movies", in The fragment: an incomplete history, edited by William Tronzo (Getty Research Institute, Los Angeles, 2009), pp. 193-211.

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Fernando Vidal, "Histoire de la psychologie et 'Geschichte der Menschheit': l’oeuvre de Friedrich August Carus (1770-1809)", in Göttingen vers 1800: l’Europe des sciences de l’homme, edited by Hans Erich Bödeker, Philippe Büttgen, and Michel Espagne (Editions du Cerf, Paris, 2010), pp. 221-246.

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Fernando Vidal and Rosália Duarte, "Identidade e cérebro: o que o cinema tem a dizer", in Filosofia, cinema e educação, edited by Jorge de Mirande Almeida and Itamar de Pereira Aguiar (Edições UESB, Vitória da Conquista, 2010), pp. 133-156.

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Fernando Vidal, "Fiction film and the cerebral subject", in Neurocultures: glimpses into an expanding universe, edited by Francisco Ortega and Fernando Vidal (Lang, Frankfurt/M. [u.a.], 2011), pp. 329-344.

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Fernando Vidal, "Memory, movies, and the brain", in The memory process: neuroscientific and humanistic perspectives, edited by Suzanne Nalbantian, Paul M. Matthews, and James L. McClelland (MIT Press, Cambridge, Mass., 2011), pp. 395-415.

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Fernando Vidal, "Human persons and human brains: a historical perspective within the Christian tradition", in Rethinking human nature: a multidisciplinary approach, edited by Malcolm Jeeves (Eerdmans, Grand Rapids, Mich., 2011), pp. 30-57.

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Fernando Vidal, "Von unserem eigenen Gehirn überlebt", in Images of the Mind: Bildwelten des Geistes aus Kunst und Wissenschaft, edited by Colleen M. Schmitz and Ladislav Kesner (Wallstein, Göttingen, 2011), pp. 41-48.

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Fernando Vidal, "L' expérience mélancolique au regard de la critique", in L' encre de la mélancolie, edited by Jean Starobinski (Editions du Seuil, Paris, 2012), pp. 625-639.

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Fernando Vidal, "Review of: Weidman, Nadine M.: Constructing scientific psychology. Karl Lashley's mind-brain debates. Cambridge [u.a.]: Cambridge Univ. Press 1999", in History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences, (2002), Vol. 24, pp. 337-339.

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Teaching activities
2011
Universidad Autónoma Metropolitana-Caujimalpa and Universidad Nacional Autónoma, MexicoInvited Professor
2010
Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences SocialesInvited Professor
2009
Institute for Advanced Studies in the Humanities, Pontifícia Universidade Católica do Rio de JaneiroInvited Professor
2007
Instituto de Medicina Social, Universidade Estadual do Rio de JaneiroInvited professor
2006
Instituto de Medicina Social, Universidade Estadual do Rio de JaneiroInvited professor