- Paperback: 250 pages
- Publisher: Imprint Academic (June 1, 2008)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1845400232
- ISBN-13: 978-1845400231
- Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 2 x 9.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 2 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,835,276 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Brainstorming: Views and Interviews on the Mind
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"Shaun Gallagher is still one of the best exponents of a mode of philosophizing that he helped to inaugurate... [O]ne gets the feeling that Brainstorming is not so much a construction or even a reconstruction, as a re-enactment of the explanatory journey that charts Gallagher's own attempt to bring the prism of the human mind in to focus... [T]he deftness Gallagher displays in weaving the narrative of Brainstorming into readable and lively text is laudable -- in particular his succinct, clear explication of some highly technical concepts and attendant terms."(Clare MacCumhaill Metapsychology)
"In a philosophical journey, Gallagher explores our understanding of how thoughts, actions and mental states can be generated by brains, and the ways philosophy, neuroscience and cognitive science collaborate in making sense of it all... This fascinating and insightful book is... speculative in all the right ways, mirroring minds and thoughts, and the ways of science itself."(Chris McManus, University College London)
"As one would expect, the discussion is very well-informed and the reader is exposed to a number of perspectives. This makes it more interest not only to general and specialist readers, but also potentially to psychology and philosophy students."(Scientific and Medical Network)
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So what is the argument? Essentially that Computationalism is quite futile in its attempt at explaining most, if any, of the properties of consciousness while Embodied Cognition is more fruitful. To make this argument Gallagher draws from interviews, dialogues and exchanges between various professionals working on the problem of consciousness. They are: Michael Arbib (Action to Language via the Mirror Neuron System), Jonathan Cole (The Invisible Smile: Living without facial expression), Christopher Frith (Making up the Mind: How the Brain Creates Our Mental World), Michael Gazzaniga (Human: The Science Behind What Makes Us Unique), Marc Jeannerod (Motor Cognition: What Actions Tell to the Self (Oxford Portraits in Science)), Anthony Marcel, Jacques Paillard (Brain and Space (Oxford Science Publications)), Jaak Panksepp (Affective Neuroscience: The Foundations of Human and Animal Emotions (Series in Affective Science)) and Francisco Varela (On Becoming Aware: A Pragmatics of Experiencing (Advances in Consciousness Research, 43)).
I really enjoyed this book and found it very informative in the ongoing debate about Mind/Body, the "hard problem of consciousness", computationalism, embodied cognition and phenomenology. I would simply add that this book is somewhat technical; I don't imagine that a layman could read this book and be completely satisfied. I believe however, that IF someone wanted to read this book without much background in Philosophy of Mind AND was committed to it, then it wouldn't be too difficult to do a little research and catch-up. This would make a great introductory text to studying Embodied Cognition (which is the view that is presently displacing Computationalism in Philosophy of Mind). Here are a couple of other books that are worthy of looking at in this area: Supersizing the Mind: Embodiment, Action, and Cognitive Extension (Philosophy of the Mind) and The Conscious Brain: Facts and Consequences.