- Paperback: 480 pages
- Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell; 1 edition (April 18, 2003)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 140510838X
- ISBN-13: 978-1405108386
- Product Dimensions: 6.8 x 1.5 x 9.7 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.9 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #750,753 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Philosophical Foundations of Neuroscience 1st Edition
Use the Amazon App to scan ISBNs and compare prices.
Featured resources for residents
Explore these featured titles for medical residents. Learn more
Frequently bought together
Customers who bought this item also bought
“This remarkable book, the product of a collaboration between a philosopher and neuroscientist, shows that the claims made on behalf of cognitive science are ill-founded. The book will certainly arouse opposition... but if it causes controversy, it is controversy that is long overdue.” Sir Anthony Kenny, President of the British Academy, 1989–93 <!--end-->
“This book was simply waiting to be written.” Denis Noble, Oxford University
“Contemporary scientists and philosophers may not like Bennett and Hacker's conclusions, but they will hardly be able to ignore them. The work is a formidable achievement.” John Cottingham, Professor of Philosophy, Reading University
“Neuroscientists, psychologists and philosophers will be challenged – and educated – by this sustained and well-informed critique.” Paul Harris, Professor, Human Development and Psychology, Graduate School of Education, Harvard University
"This book is a joy to read. It is the fruit of collaboration across disciplines and continents between a neurophysiologist and a philosopher. They have written a polemical work that is a model of clarity and directness. Distiniguished neurophysiologist M.R. Bennett of the University of Sydney, and eminent Oxford philosopher P.M.S. Hacker have produced that rarity of scholarship, a genuinely interdisciplinary work that succeeds. ... This is a wonderful book that will illuminate, provoke and delight professional scientists, philosophers and general readers alike." Australian Book Review
"Bennett and Hacker have identified [conceptual confusions] with clinical precision and relentless good sense.... rich with philosophical insights ... thoughtful and wonderfully useful treatise ..." Philosophy
"careful application in a host of cases ...is precisely what Bennett and Hacker provide in devastating critiques of psychologists and neuroscientists such as Blakemore, Crick, Damasio, Edelman, Gazzaniga, Kandel, Kosslyn, LeDoux, Penrose and Weiskrantz; and they also raise equally disturbing questions for philosophers such as Dennett, the Churchlands, Chalmers, Nagel and Searle. Whether this book leads to a reconfiguring of contemporary neuroscience and the philosophy associated with it will tell us much about the dynamics of contemporary intellectual life." Philosophy
"The vast spectrum of material in philosophy and neuroscience that Bennett and Hacker consider is impressive and their discussion is thorough and illuminating." Human Nature Review
1. ‘[It] will certainly, for a long time to come, be the most important contribution to the mind-body problem which there is.’ G. H. von Wright
2. ‘everyone who thinks about the mind and consciousness should study Philosophical Foundations of Neurtoscience. ... it will ultimately contribute to a far better understanding of mind and consciousness within scientific thought as well as a better understanding of the limits of empirical investigation’, Arthur Collins, The Philosophical Quarterly, 2004
3. ‘Sweeping, argumentative and brilliant, this book will provoke widespread discussion among philosophers and neuroscientists alike’, Dennis Patterson, Notre Dame Philosophical Review, 2003
4. ‘...devastating critiques of psychologists and neuroscientists ... Whether this book leads to a reconfiguring of contemporary neuroscience and the philosophy associated with it will tell us much about the dynamics of contemporary intellectual life’, Anthony O’Hear, Philosophy 2003
5. ‘This book is a joy to read. ... a model of clarity and directedness... [Bennett and Hacker] have produced that rarity of scholarship, a genuinely interdisciplinary work that succeeds. ... This is a wonderful book that will illuminate, provoke and delight professional scientists, philosophers and general readers alike.’, Damian Grace, Australian Book Review, 2003
6. ‘clinical precision and ... relentless good sense ... [a] thoughtful and wonderfully useful treatise’, Daniel N. Robinson, Philosophical Quarterly, 2004
7. ‘mandatory reading for anybody interested in neuroscience and consciousness research. The vast spectrum of material in philosophy and neuroscience that Bennett and Hacker consider is impressive and their discussion is thorough and illuminating.’ Axel Kohler, Human Nature Review, 2003
8. ‘a delicious cake of a book in which Bennett and Hacker guide the reader through a conceptual minefield of confusions repeatedly made by neuroscientists and philosophers alike.’ Constantine Sandis, Metapsychology 2003
9. ‘Anyone who has ever framed a theory or explained one should read this book ‑ at the risk of forever falling silent.’, The Rector, University of Sydney, Obiter Dicta 2003
10. ‘... impressively lucid ... Bennett and Hacker unquestionably succeed in making us challenge our own concepts, examine them for dross, and strive to home in on fundamentals.’ Neil Spurway, Journal of the European Soc for Study of Science and Theology.
11. ‘...the fruit of a unique cooperation between a neuroscientist and a philosopher ... an excellent book that should be read by all philosophers of cognition and all researchers in the cognitive neurosciences.’ Herman Philipse, ABG #2, De Academische Boekengids 2003
12. `...there are, I think, grounds for hope that this book will do an enormous amount of good, both in correcting philosophical confusion within neuroscience and in promoting a new style of dialogue between neuroscience and philosophy' David Cockburn, Philosophical Investigations, 2005
In this provocative work, a distinguished philosopher and a leading neuroscientist outline the conceptual problems at the heart of cognitive neuroscience. Writing from a scientifically and philosophically informed perspective, the authors provide a critical overview of the conceptual difficulties encountered in many current neuroscientific and psychological theories, including those of Blakemore, Crick, Damasio, Edelman, Gazzaniga, Kandel, Kosslyn, LeDoux, Penrose and Weiskrantz. They propose that conceptual confusions about how the brain relates to the mind affect the intelligibility of research carried out by neuroscientists, in terms of the questions they choose to address, the description and interpretation of results and the conclusions they draw. The book forms both a critique of the practice of cognitive neuroscience and a conceptual handbook for students and researchers.
Browse award-winning titles. See more
If you are a seller for this product, would you like to suggest updates through seller support?
Top Customer Reviews
The primary criticism leveled at neuroscience is that it is a conceptual shambles due to repeatedly confusing functions of 'selves' with functions of organs (the brain of course). Neursoscience is identified with Cartesian dualism by clumsily shifting talk of properties of persons to talk of brain phenomena and assuming them equivalent. The anvil upon which neuroscience is being philosophically temepered is termed the mereological principle (or fallacy - and you can buy the book for an explanation).
Part of the criticism echoes Wittgenstein's 'if a lion could talk we wouldn't understand him', and most significantly recalls previous critiques of private langage arguments (with a nod to Kripke). It turns out, according to Bennet and Hacker, that neuroscience has been secretly keeping private mental objects alive - presumably in ignorance of philosophical canons.
The book concludes with a well argued and welcome broadside against Dennett's intentional stance (a sacred tenet among cognitve neuroscientists) and, unfortunately, a more toothless critique of Searle on intentionality.
Is this a good book? As an exercise in conceptual analysis this is an excellent text to study - and disagree with. However, implicit in the text is a philosophical backcloth that will not be accessible to many readers outside philosophy (e.g. the presentation of neuroscientific concepts as neo-platonic). It is an immensely scholarly work, but personally I believe that readers with an informed understanding of Wittgenstein will follow the threads more easily than others. Nevertheless, I heartily recommend it.
I bought this book rather than the abridged edition because I really wanted to see Wittgensteinianism (?) at work on the mind-body problem...and yes, I fear it is still a problem for me despite all the old wine in new bottles now on the shelves. I didn't buy it to agree or disagree with it. I'm lucky to know a brain oriented psychiatrist who actually maintains many of the theses under attack and so I've got a tennis partner here, though he's limited from "our" point of view by not knowing most of our academic jargon.. I have got him to see that the brain is not the person, that the person has schizophrenia, not her brain.
I'm also trying to suggest that to him its not the brain or even just the person which "thinks". Skinner remarked we think with our stomachs as well as with our brains and that wasn't a simple remark. I.e., it doesn't mean that our stomach sends signals to the brain which make us hungry. As a beekeeper I've often mused on the totally different reality a bee lives in due to it's eye structure, various sensory hairs of different types layered on her body and on and on. A bee thinks differently than us not JUST because of her brain, but because of her body. A bee's physics text would be nearly incomprehensible to us; neither her text nor ours, I think, would be a better picture of an external world. Physics is in that sense pragmatic. That's a problem.
In fact, I'd like to solve my puzzlement about consciousness and external reality by becoming a convinced diciple of W, but I can't. If you ARE interested in giving this kind of analysis its best shot, in finally convincing yourself that 'nothing is hidden' and that there is no problem of consciousness, in getting some rest,you really should read this book. Lots of time it's easy to fall into the slipstream while doing so. But Bishop Berkley keeps shaking me awake. Or I'm just stuck in the tarbaby. Can't figure out which. Anyway, this book is a very good excersize.
In undergraduate school, a teacher who had studied with W, said to me you don't solve philosophical problems, you outgrow them. When?
I do not mean to say that Bennett and Hacker have all the answers, but their "ordinary language" approach, along with their debt to Wittgenstein, Ryle, Kenny and Strawson, says something about their book. Most contemporary philosophers of mind (Sprague, Strawson and Hacker, among others, excluded) have rightly dismissed the soul, but have decided that there is something "mysterious" about consciousness, or perception or emotion, or what have you. In response, Bennett and Hacker have shown what "consciousness" really is: the conscious acts of people existing in the world. This is why we know that other people are conscious actors: they do conscious things such as watch birds, or play chess, or eat ham sandwiches.
If Michael Tye's or David Chalmers' or Colin McGinn's problems of consiousness (e.g. that I can know that you feel the same pain that I feel, or that you see the same color that I see) are indeed problems for you, you should read this book; if it doesn't prove to you that they are not problems at all, at least it will give you a new way of looking at the problems so that you may come to your own interesting conclusions.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
It tells us about the limitations of neurobiological approaches, and the...Read more
Seriously though, this is the best-written exposition of the Anglo-American analytical philosophical...Read more