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Encyclopedia > Neurophilosophy

Neurophilosophy is the interdisciplinary study of neuroscience and philosophy. Work in this field is often separated into two distinct methods. The first method attempts to solve problems in philosophy of mind with empirical information from the neurosciences. The second method attempts to clarify neuroscientific results using the conceptual rigor and methods of philosophy of science. Neuroscience is a field of study that deals with the structure, function, development, genetics, biochemistry, physiology, pharmacology, and pathology of the nervous system, divided into the central nervous system (the brain and spinal cord), and the peripheral nervous system, consisting of the myriad nerve pathways running throughout the body. ... These five broad types of question are called analytical or logical, epistemological, ethical, metaphysical, and aesthetic respectively. ... Philosophy of mind is the philosophical study of the nature of the mind, mental events, mental functions, mental properties, and consciousness. ... The philosophy of science is the branch of philosophy which studies the philosophical foundations, assumptions, and implications of science, including the natural sciences such as physics, mathematics, and biology, and the social sciences, such as psychology, sociology, political science, and economics. ...


The pair of philosophers who have brought wide attention to this field (in both of these forms) are Patricia and Paul Churchland. Patricia Smith Churchland (born July 16, 1943) is a Canadian-American philosopher working at the University of California, San Diego since 1984. ... Paul Churchland is a philosopher working at the University of California, San Diego. ...

Contents


Neurophilosophy

Neurophilosophy explores the relevance of neuroscientific data to arguments in philosophy of mind. Prominent philosophers in this field are Daniel Dennett and David Chalmers. Philosophy of mind is the philosophical study of the nature of the mind, mental events, mental functions, mental properties, and consciousness. ... Daniel Dennett Daniel Clement Dennett (born March 28, 1942) is a prominent American philosopher. ... David Chalmers David Chalmers (1966 -) is a leading philosopher in the area of philosophy of mind. ...


Philosophy of neuroscience

Philosophy of neuroscience aims to bring conceptual clarification to neuroscientific studies. In this respect, it is a subfield of philosophy of science. Prominent philosophers in this field are Valerie Hardcastle and William Bechtel. The philosophy of science is the branch of philosophy which studies the philosophical foundations, assumptions, and implications of science, including the natural sciences such as physics, mathematics, and biology, and the social sciences, such as psychology, sociology, political science, and economics. ... William Bechtel is a professor of Philosophy in the Department of Philosophy and the Science Studies Program at the University of California, San Diego. ...


See also

Although not yet a widely accepted term, Biophilosophy is an appropriate label for several streams in contemporary philosophy that deal with the impact of biological sciences on philosophy. ... The field of Cognitive neuroscience concerns the study of the neural mechanisms underlying cognition and is a branch of biological psychology which, in turn, is part of the wider field of neuroscience, the most comprehensive interdisciplinary discipline studying the brain . ... In the philosophy of mind, eliminative materialism is the school of thought that argues for an absolute version of materialism and physicalism with respect to mental entities and mental vocabulary. ... Materialism is the philosophical view that the only thing that can truly be said to exist is matter; that fundamentally, all things are composed of material and all phenomena are the result of material interactions. ... Neuroethics is the bioethics subcategory concerned with neuroscience. ... Neurophenomenology is a hybrid scientific methodology that combines neuroscience with phenomenological psychology in order to study consciousness. ... Neuropsychology is a branch of psychology that aims to understand how the structure and function of the brain relate to specific psychological processes. ... Philosophy of psychology typically refers to a set of issues at the theoretical foundations of modern psychology. ... Reduction or reducing has several meanings: In mathematics, reduction is the process of manipulating a series of equations or matrices into a desired simpler format. ...

External links

Further reading

  • Neurophilosophy, Patricia Churchland (1986)

  Results from FactBites:
 
Neurophilosophy: Toward a Unified Science of the Mind-Brain (925 words)
Neurophilosophy is a rich interdisciplinary study of the prospects for a unified cognitive neurobiology.
Contemporary research in the empirical neurosciences, and recent research in the philosophy of mind and the philosophy of science, are used to illuminate fundamental questions concerning the relation between abstract cognitive theory and substantive neuroscience.
Neurophilosophy presents another dimension to a variety of phenomena.
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Neurophilosophy of Free Will: From Libertarian Illusions to a Concept of Natural Autonomy
In this book Walter applies the methodology of neurophilosophy to one of philosophy's central challenges, the notion of free will.
Neurophilosophical conclusions are based on, and consistent with, scientific knowledge about the brain and its functioning.Walter's answer to whether there is free will is, It depends.
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