Neuropragmatism, old and new

Recent work in neurophilosophy has either made reference to the work of John Dewey or independently developed positions similar to it. I review these developments in order first to show that Dewey was indeed doing neurophilosophy well before the Churchlands and others, thereby preceding many other mid-twentieth century European philosophers’ views on cognition to whom many present day philosophers refer (e.g., Heidegger, Merleau-Ponty). I also show that Dewey’s work provides useful tools for evading or overcoming many issues in contemporary neurophilosophy and philosophy of mind. In this introductory review, I distinguish between three waves among neurophilosophers that revolve around the import of evolution and the degree of brain-centrism. Throughout, I emphasize and elaborate upon Dewey’s dynamic view of mind and consciousness. I conclude by introducing the consciousness-as-cooking metaphor as an alternative to both the consciousness-as-digestion and consciousness-as-dancing metaphors. Neurophilosophical pragmatism—or neuropragmatism—recognizes the import of evolutionary and cognitive neurobiology for developing a science of mind and consciousness. However, as the cooking metaphor illustrates, a science of mind and consciousness cannot rely on the brain alone—just as explaining cooking entails more than understanding the gut—and therefore must establish continuity with cultural activities and their respective fields of inquiry. Neuropragmatism advances a new and promising perspective on how to reconcile the scientific and manifest images of humanity as well as how to reconstruct the relationship between science and the humanities
Keywords Pragmatism  Neurophilosophy  John Dewey  Dynamic systems  Consciousness  Mind
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1007/s11097-011-9202-6
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index
Download options
PhilPapers Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 15,904
External links
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

View all 33 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA
Loren Goldman (2012). Dewey's Pragmatism From an Anthropological Point of View. Transactions of the Charles S. Peirce Society 48 (1):1-30.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles
Matthew J. Brown (2012). John Dewey's Logic of Science. Hopos: The Journal of the International Society for the History of Philosophy of Science 2 (2):258-306.

Monthly downloads

Added to index


Total downloads

47 ( #71,410 of 1,725,424 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

1 ( #349,420 of 1,725,424 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature

Start a new thread
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.