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Neurophilosophy: Toward a Unified Science of the Mind-Brain Paperback – September 7, 1989
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Copyright 1986 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Neurophilosophy is exactly the introduction to the neurosciences that philosophers need, and exactly the introduction to philosophy of mind that neuroscientists need, and only someone who knew both fields very well could write it. This is a unique book. It is excellently written, crammed with information, wise, and a pleasure to read.(Daniel C. Dennett, Tufts University)
The book represents a unique synthesis of neurobiology in a philosophical context, put in truly exquisite language that is easy to read. A definite must for philosophers interested in neuroscience and for neuroscientists interested in the philosophical issues of their fields.(Rodolfo Llinas, Chairman, Department of Physiology and Biophysics, New York Medical Center)
While many people in cognitive science are beginning to look at relations among pairs of related disciplines, Patricia Churchland's book is the best yet at elucidating the key issues that underly the enterprise.(Jerome A. Feldman, University of Rochester)
Churchland writes with the authority of an insider.(Philip Kitcher Nature)
Churchland's approach is... refreshing, and it is well carried out.... I am going to use Neurophilosophy as the textbook in my graduate course in cognitive neuropsychology. For anyone interested in the 'real' CNS, this volume is by far the best that has come out of cognitive science.(Karl H. Pribram Contemporary Psycholoqy)
Neurophilosophy is a pioneering work. As our understanding of the brain develops, philosophers will need to know more about the function of its parts, while neuroscientists will increasingly confront philosophical issues. This perceptive, lively and informative book combines both approaches in ail up to date and very readable manner.(F.H.C. Crick, The Salk Institute)
Top Customer Reviews
The author of the book is a materialist, and in this book she has given an excellent justification of her position, and expresses at all times fairness to those who disagree with her positions and conclusions. She also expresses a rare intellectual honesty about the scientific evidence supporting her claims, informing the reader at every place in the book where it is not available or weak at best. Without a doubt the author was not happy at the state of philosophy at the time the book was published, holding that it completely omitted neuroscience, and embraced in her words "a novel and sophisticated form of dualism". She explains this was ample reason for her to take the plunge into a more scientific/empirical framework. The book is an excellent example of what can result when a philosopher decides to do this.Read more ›
For some reasons, this is no place to critique the books views. This was the first serious and very ambitious attempt into integrating neurosicience and philosophy of mind to tackle problems like cosnciousness, perception, action, etc.. Elimitivism is not highly regarded nowdays, and the fuzz about connectionist models is fading away. Some proposals were naive, even. But the book is still a classic in the field of cognitive neuroscience, philosophy of mind, and well, neurophilosophy.
Tremendous job ! Very detailed, hard reading, but extremely worthwhile
In the first part of the book Churchland discusses the basics of the theory of neurons, functional neuroanatomy, and various techniques for studying the brain. There is probably a great deal in the first section that is somewhat out of date (unfortunately, I am not knoweldgeable enough in neuroscience to know what is or is not out of date; I doubt much of the neuroanatomy is out of date though I am sure we know more than we did when the book was written).
The second part of the book delves into issues relating to philosophy of science. In this section Churchland summarizes all the main arguments made against materialism and reductionism and provides excellent and well though out responses to those arguments. The book is worth reading for the second section alone. There is almost nothing that is out of date in the second section. People are still making essentially the same arguments today as they were when the book was written and Churchland's spirited defense of materialism is still well worth reading.
The final section is mostly about tensor network theory and connectionism. I know there has been a lot of work done on connectionism since this book was published and the introduction to connectionism in this volume is pretty sketchy. If you are interested in connectionism I would recommend looking elsewhere.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Patricia S. Churchland initiated the use of neuroscience in philosophical issues in 1986 with her book 'Neurophilosophy: Toward a Unified Science of the Mind-Brain'. Read morePublished on May 14, 2014 by P Michael Spagnuolo
Patricia Smith Churchland (born 1943) is a Canadian-American philosopher and Professor of Philosophy Emerita at the University of California, San Diego. Read morePublished on May 21, 2013 by Steven H Propp
it is a great book in understanding how the brain works, develops, from a deeply philosophical aspect. Read morePublished on October 25, 2010 by Book Bear
It is like saying one understands the principles of music theory because one understands acoustic science... Read morePublished on December 26, 2009 by Harry Peters
You will find Churchland's arguments compelling. She builds her case methodically and comprehensively. Neurophilosophy presents another dimension to a variety of phenomena. Read morePublished on November 14, 2006 by Thomas Joseph
i have a full shelf when it comes to philosophy and cog-sci, so when i saw this title i picked it up naturally. Read morePublished on October 21, 2004 by Rory Staunton
Patricia Churchland takes on the incredible task of applying our current (and incomplete)knowledge of neuroscience to basic philosophy of mind problems. Read morePublished on December 7, 1999