David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Language Sciences 31:531-552 (2009)
Neuroscience offers more than new empirical evidence about the details of cognitive functions such as language, perception and action. Since it also shows many functions to be highly distributed, interconnected and dependent on mechanisms at different levels of processing, it challenges concepts that are traditionally used to describe these functions. The question is how to accommodate these concepts to the recent evidence. A recent proposal, made in Philosophical Foundations of Neuroscience (2003) by Bennett and Hacker, is that concepts play a foundational role in neuroscience, that empirical research needs to presuppose them and that changing concepts is a philosophical task. In defending this perspective, PFN shows much neuroscientific writing to be dualistic in nature due to our poor grasp of its foundations. In our review article we take a different approach. Instead of foundationalism we plead for a mild coherentism, which allows for a gradual and continuous alteration of concepts in light of new evidence. Following this approach it is also easier to deal with some neurological conditions (like blindsight, synaesthesia) that pose difficulties for our concepts. Finally, although words and concepts seem to seduce us to thinking that many skills and tasks function separately, it is language skill that – as neuroscientific evidence shows – co-emerges with action/perception cycles and thus seems to require revision of some of our central concepts.
|Keywords||neuroscience and philosophy foundationalism and coherentism mereology and dualism language and cognition distributed cognition mechanistic explanation|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
|Through your library|
References found in this work BETA
No references found.
Citations of this work BETA
No citations found.
Similar books and articles
Gualtiero Piccinini (2006). Computational Explanation in Neuroscience. Synthese 153 (3):343-353.
M. Bennett, D. C. Dennett, P. M. S. Hacker & J. R. & Searle (eds.) (2007). Neuroscience and Philosophy: Brain, Mind, and Language. Columbia University Press.
Andrew Brook & Kathleen Akins (eds.) (2005). Cognition and the Brain: The Philosophy and Neuroscience Movement. Cambridge University Press.
Arnon Levy (2009). Explaining What? Review of Explaining the Brain: Mechanisms and the Mosaic Unity of Neuroscience by Carl F. Craver. Biology and Philosophy 24 (1).
Daniel Stoljar & Ian Gold (1998). On Biological and Cognitive Neuroscience. Mind and Language 13 (1):110-31.
Edward G. Belaga (2008). Emergence and Evolution of Natural Languages: New Mathematical and Algorithmic Perspectives. In Proceedings of Language, Communication and Cognition International Conference, Brighton, August 4th-7th 2008.
John Bickle, Pete Mandik & Anthony Landreth, The Philosophy of Neuroscience. Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
Warren Schmaus (2005). Evolutionary and Neuroscience Approaches to the Study of Cognition. Philosophy of Science 72 (5):675-686.
Machiel Keestra & Stephen J. Cowley (2011). Concepts – Not Just Yardsticks, but Also Heuristics: Rebutting Hacker and Bennett. Language Sciences 33 (3):464-472.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads29 ( #57,625 of 1,096,630 )
Recent downloads (6 months)1 ( #265,701 of 1,096,630 )
How can I increase my downloads?