The way Lieberman talks about how pain that comes from physical wounds is not as respected as pain that comes from emotional ones reminds me of what we call “psychosomatic” symptoms, where the physical pain comes from an emotional or mental source. (Sidenote, isn’t physical also ‘mental’? like the pain of a phantom limb, which is recognized as ‘real’ but also in one’s head?) This reminded me of Hustvedt’s discussion of hysteria. I could fall down a rabbit hole of language, from hysteria to lunatic, for example, but I will just say that pain is not always validated, especially when experienced by women. He says that Tylenol can help with the heart ache and the head ache. This is becoming more widely accepted, as with the drug Cymbalta: Depression hurts. Cymbalta can help. (This is weirdly a meme that I found when I tried to find an image for it.) In fact, I wonder about his thoughts towards depression in general. The Harlow monkey experiments are terrifying.
Generally, I dislike pop-psychology. I dislike the binary Lieberman sets up between the analytic brain and the social brain, that one must turn off for the other to function. I do find the social aspect of learning argument compelling, especially that the social brain performs the analytical brain’s function better than the analytical brain usually does. But this leads to the question: Why establish a binary? He also says we do not value the social. I see this in some leadership development and some academic environments. So why are we so fixated with Facebook and Instagram? Maybe because we are not being sated in our daily lives?