By: Deborah Orr | Trump’s personality will help us learn how our minds work | Deborah Orr | Neuroscience | The Guardian
Intense scrutiny of the president-elect’s neurological quirks provide a starting point for insight into what makes us so creative, and so destructive
A fair number of people are implacably opposed to seeing any hope for the future after the election of Donald Trump to the presidency of the United States. But there’s one good reason to be hopeful. Many observers saw quite quickly that Trump’s personality was highly disordered. People with yet more dangerous personality disorders have gained power many times in human history – probably far more often than not. This time, however, the phenomenon is being scrutinised on those terms. The opportunity for everyone to learn a lot about this domineering, exploitative, unstable and superficially charismatic personality type has presented itself on a grand scale.
In fact, there has never been a better time than now for human beings to start gaining far greater insight into ourselves, what makes us so creative and what makes us so destructive. And it’s not just a matter of information. All the neuroimaging, all the psychological theorising, all the psychiatric experimentation with pharmacology, it’s already prompting a huge need for careful, scientifically anchored engagement with the ethical and philosophical debate about what it is to be human.