Structures of Understanding
This chapter draws centrally from Heidegger’s work to develop a form of inquiry that reveals how neuromarketing discourse represents consumers along a continuum ranging from non-thinking objects and animals to world-forming entities who can be nudged to take consumptive action. The purpose of the chapter is to illustrate how human beings [as Dasein] make meaning in and from the world, and to foreground the complexity of the process of understanding not necessarily captured by certain neuromarketing practitioners. It argues that using structures of understanding as part of a framework for analysis can reveal the ways in which the discourse of neuromarketing frames consumer thinking in—at times—reductive metaphors. Furthermore, these representations have social and ethical implications in terms of the objectification and instrumentalisation of individuals as tools to be used for advertising ends.