Tony Bennett is Emeritus Professor at the Institute for Culture and Society at Western Sydney University and Honorary Professor in the Humanities Research Centre at the Australian National University. Among his many books are
Exploded Pathways: Plasticity's Mentors
The neurosciences have given rise to a range of new programs for managing habits along pathways ranging from those of managed mindfulness to the cultivation of varied forms of “reflexive flexibility.” These form the context for the chapter's consideration of the politics of “gapped time” associated with the significance that Catherine Malabou accords synaptic intervals in her account of the dynamics of habit change. While initially affiliating her account to a Bergsonian lineage, she has since retracted this in disputing Bergson's negative evaluation of the role of scientific intelligence in the direction of social life. In doing so, she engages with artificial-intelligence perspectives to elaborate an account of the relations between habit and intelligence that overcomes human-machine dualities. In probing the pathway metaphors that abound in Malabou's work, the chapter questions the authority she attributes to aesthetics as freedom's guide along habit's interrupted pathways.