Asking what's inside the head: Neurophilosophy meets the extended mind [Book Review]

Minds and Machines 17 (3):345-351 (2007)
Abstract
In their historical overview of cognitive science, Bechtel, Abraham- son and Graham (1999) describe the field as expanding in focus be- ginning in the mid-1980s. The field had spent the previous 25 years on internalist, high-level GOFAI (“good old fashioned artificial intelli- gence” [Haugeland 1985]), and was finally moving “outwards into the environment and downards into the brain” (Bechtel et al, 1999, p.75). One important force behind the downward movement was Patricia Churchland’s Neurophilosophy (1986). This book began a movement bearing its name, one that truly came of age in 1999 when Kath- leen Akins won a million-dollar fellowship to begin the McDonnell Project in Philosophy and the Neurosciences. The McDonnell Project put neurophilosophy at the forefront of philosophy of mind and cogni- tive science, yielding proliferating articles, conferences, special journal issues and books. In two major new books, neurophilosophers Patricia Churchland (2002) and John Bickle (2003) clearly feel this newfound prominence: Churchland mocks those who do not apply findings in neuroscience to philosophical problems as “no-brainers”; Bickle mocks anyone with traditional philosophical concerns, including “naturalistic philosophers of mind” and other neurophilosophers
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