Fernando Vidal

Visiting scholar
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: 

Dias, N., & Vidal, F. (2015). Introduction: the endangerment sensibility. In F. Vidal, & N. Dias (Eds.), Endangerment, biodiversity and culture (pp. 1-38). New York [u.a.]: Routledge.

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Vidal, F., & Dias, N. (Eds.). (2015). Endangerment, biodiversity and culture. New York [u.a.]: Routledge.

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Vidal, F. (2015). Brains, bodies, selves, and science: anthropologies of identity and the resurrection of the body. In R. Cooter, & C. Stein (Eds.), History of medicine. Vol. 4: Medicine in postmodernity (pp. 301-342). London [u.a.]: Routledge.

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Vidal, F., & Dias, N. (2014). The endangerment sensibility. Berlin: Max-Planck-Institut für Wissenschaftsgeschichte.

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Vidal, F., & Ortega, F. (2012). Are there neural correlates of depression? In S. Choudhury, & J. Slaby (Eds.), Critical neuroscience: a handbook of the social and cultural contexts of neuroscience (pp. 345-366). Chichester: Wiley-Blackwell.

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Vidal, F. (2012). L' expérience mélancolique au regard de la critique. In J. Starobinski (Ed.), L' encre de la mélancolie (pp. 625-639). Paris: Editions du Seuil.

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Ortega, F., & Vidal, F. (Eds.). (2011). Neurocultures: glimpses into an expanding universe. Frankfurt/M. [u.a.]: Lang.

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Vidal, F., & Ortega, F. (2011). Approaching the neurocultural spectrum: an introduction. In F. Ortega, & F. Vidal (Eds.), Neurocultures: glimpses into an expanding universe (pp. 7-27). Frankfurt/M. [u.a.]: Lang.

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Vidal, F. (2011). Fiction film and the cerebral subject. In F. Ortega, & F. Vidal (Eds.), Neurocultures: glimpses into an expanding universe (pp. 329-344). Frankfurt/M. [u.a.]: Lang.

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Vidal, F. (2011). Memory, movies, and the brain. In S. Nalbantian, P. M. Matthews, & J. L. McClelland (Eds.), The memory process: neuroscientific and humanistic perspectives (pp. 395-415). Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press.

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Vidal, F. (2011). Human persons and human brains: a historical perspective within the Christian tradition. In M. Jeeves (Ed.), Rethinking human nature: a multidisciplinary approach (pp. 30-57). Grand Rapids, Mich.: Eerdmans.

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Vidal, F. (2011). Von unserem eigenen Gehirn überlebt. In C. M. Schmitz, & L. Kesner (Eds.), Images of the Mind: Bildwelten des Geistes aus Kunst und Wissenschaft (pp. 41-48). Göttingen: Wallstein.

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Vidal, F. (2011). The sciences of the soul: the early modern origins of psychology. Chicago [u.a.]: Chicago University Press.

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Ortega, F., & Vidal, F. (2010). Les (dés)espoirs du cerveau: neuroascèse et neuroéthique. In A. Leibing, & V. Tournay (Eds.), Les technologies de l’espoir: la fabrique d’une histoire à accomplir (pp. 259-281). Québec: Presses de l’Université Laval.

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Vidal, F. (2010). Histoire de la psychologie et 'Geschichte der Menschheit': l’oeuvre de Friedrich August Carus (1770-1809). In H. E. Bödeker, P. Büttgen, & M. Espagne (Eds.), Göttingen vers 1800: l’Europe des sciences de l’homme (978-2-204-09128-2, pp. 221-246). Paris: Editions du Cerf.

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Vidal, F., & Duarte, R. (2010). Identidade e cérebro: o que o cinema tem a dizer. In J. de Mirande Almeida, & I. de Pereira Aguiar (Eds.), Filosofia, cinema e educação (pp. 133-156). Vitória da Conquista: Edições UESB.

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

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Vidal, F. (2009). Ghosts of the European Enlightenment. In M.-c. Poo (Ed.), Rethinking ghosts in world religions (pp. 163-182). Leiden [u.a.]: Brill.

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Vidal, F. (2009). Ectobrains in the movies. In W. Tronzo (Ed.), The fragment: an incomplete history (pp. 193-211). Los Angeles: Getty Research Institute.

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Vidal, F. (2008). Die Geschichte der Psychologie als zentrales Element der 'Geschichte der Menschheit'. In H. E. Bödeker, P. Büttgen, & M. Espagne (Eds.), Die Wissenschaft vom Menschen in Göttingen um 1800: wissenschaftliche Praktiken, institutionelle Geographie, europäische Netzwerke (pp. 177-198). Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht.

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Vidal, F. (2008). [Entry] 'Piaget'. In N. Koertge (Ed.), The new dictionary of scientific biography. Vol. 6 (pp. 90-96). Detroit [u.a.]: Thomson.

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Vidal, F. (2008). Le discours de la méthode dans la psychologie des Lumières. In M. Kail (Ed.), Marges et marginalisations dans l'histoire de la psychologie (pp. 53-82). Paris: L'Harmattan.

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

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Kleeberg, B., & Vidal, F. (Eds.). (2007). Believing nature, knowing god. Cambridge: Cambridge Univ. Press.

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Vidal, F. (2007). Ghosts, the economy of religion, and the laws of princes: Dom Calmet's 'Treatise on the apparitions of spirits'. In C. Gantet, & F. d'Almeida (Eds.), Gespenster und Politik: 16. bis 21. Jahrhundert (pp. 103-126). München: Fink.

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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