Caught between Action and Inaction
Prof. Ray Dolan
The Convoco year 2014 came to a close on November 17 with a lecture by Professor Ray Dolan (UCL) at the Schiller Theater, Berlin. In the context of the overall topic “Inaction as a Form of Action” neuropsychiatrist Prof. Dolan opened up a new scientific and ethical perspective with his talk titled "Caught Between Action and Inaction."
Dr. Corinne Michaela Flick began the evening by highlighting the positive effects of deliberate "not-doing." A simple "I prefer not to" can contain an unsuspected power. It can, for example, prevent the creation of an unmindful consensus and give us space to think again.
Ray Dolan illustrated why it is so difficult to act through not-doing, using the examples of various neuroscientific experiments. These all showed that people know how to reach a goal by taking action, but that we find it much more complicated to reach our aims through deliberate not-doing.