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Profile: Patricia Smith Churchland (University of California, San Diego)
  1.  548 DLs
    Patricia S. Churchland, V. S. Ramachandran & Terrence J. Sejnowski (1993). A Critique of Pure Vision. In Christof Koch & Joel L. David (eds.), Large-scale neuronal theories of the brain. MIT Press 23.
    Anydomainofscientificresearchhasitssustainingorthodoxy. Thatis, research on a problem, whether in astronomy, physics, or biology, is con- ducted against a backdrop of broadly shared assumptions. It is these as- sumptionsthatguideinquiryandprovidethecanonofwhatisreasonable-- of what "makes sense." And it is these shared assumptions that constitute a framework for the interpretation of research results. Research on the problem of how we see is likewise sustained by broadly shared assump- tions, where the current orthodoxy embraces the very general idea that the business of the visual system is to (...)
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  2.  462 DLs
    Patricia Churchland, The Big Questions: Do We Have Free Will?
    As neuroscience uncovers these and other mechanisms regulating choices and social behaviour, we cannot help but wonder whether anyone truly chooses anything (though see "Is the universe deterministic?"). As a result, profound questions about responsibility are inescapable, not just regarding criminal justice, but in the day-to-day business of life. Given that, I suggest that free will, as traditionally understood, needs modification. Because of its importance in society, any description of free will updated to fit what we know about the nervous (...)
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  3.  408 DLs
    Paul M. Churchland & Patricia S. Churchland (1990). Could a Machine Think? Scientific American 262 (1):32-37.
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  4.  320 DLs
    Paul M. Churchland & Patricia S. Churchland (1994). Intertheoretic Reduction: A Neuroscientist's Field Guide. In Richard Warner & Tadeusz Szubka (eds.), The Mind-Body Problem: A Guide to the Current Debate. Cambridge: Blackwell
  5.  279 DLs
    Paul M. Churchland & Patricia S. Churchland (2003). Recent Work on Consciousness: Philosophical, Theoretical, and Empirical. In Naoyuki Osaka (ed.), Neural Basis of Consciousness. Amsterdam: J Benjamins 49--123.
  6.  239 DLs
    Patricia S. Churchland (1996). The Hornswoggle Problem. Journal of Consciousness Studies 3 (5-6):402-8.
    Beginning with Thomas Nagel, various philosophers have propsed setting conscious experience apart from all other problems of the mind as ‘the most difficult problem’. When critically examined, the basis for this proposal reveals itself to be unconvincing and counter-productive. Use of our current ignorance as a premise to determine what we can never discover is one common logical flaw. Use of ‘I-cannot-imagine’ arguments is a related flaw. When not much is known about a domain of phenomena, our inability to imagine (...)
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  7.  200 DLs
    Patricia S. Churchland (1998). What Should We Expect From a Theory of Consciousness? In H. Jasper, L. Descarries, V. Castellucci & S. Rossignol (eds.), Consciousness: At the Frontiers of Neuroscience. Lippincott-Raven 19-32.
    Within the domain of philosophy, it is not unusual to hear the claim that most questions about the nature of consciousness are essentially and absolutely beyond the scope of science, no matter how science may develop in the twenty-first century. Some things, it is pointed out, we shall never _ever_ understand, and consciousness is one of them (Vendler 1994, Swinburne 1994, McGinn 1989, Nagel 1994, Warner 1994). One line of reasoning assumes that consciousness is the manifestation of a distinctly nonphysical (...)
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  8.  195 DLs
    Patricia Smith Churchland, The Impact of Neuroscience on Philosophy.
    Philosophy, in its traditional guise, addresses questions where experimental science has not yet nailed down plausible explanatory theories. Thus, the ancient Greeks pondered the nature of life, the sun, and tides, but also how we learn and make decisions. The history of science can be seen as a gradual process whereby speculative philosophy cedes intellectual space to increasingly wellgrounded experimental disciplines—first astronomy, but followed by physics, chemistry, geology, biology, archaeology, and more recently, ethology, psychology, and neuroscience. Science now encompasses plausible (...)
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  9.  162 DLs
    Patricia S. Churchland (1987). Epistemology in the Age of Neuroscience. Journal of Philosophy 84 (October):546-53.
  10.  146 DLs
    Rick Grush & Patricia S. Churchland (1998). Computation and the Brain. In Robert A. Wilson & Frank F. Keil (eds.), Mit Encyclopedia of the Cognitive Sciences (Mitecs). MIT Press
    Two very different insights motivate characterizing the brain as a computer. One depends on mathematical theory that defines computability in a highly abstract sense. Here the foundational idea is that of a Turing machine. Not an actual machine, the Turing machine is really a conceptual way of making the point that any well-defined function could be executed, step by step, according to simple 'if-you-are-in-state-P-and-have-input-Q-then-do-R' rules, given enough time (maybe infinite time) [see COMPUTATION]. Insofar as the brain is a device whose (...)
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  11.  144 DLs
    Patricia S. Churchland & Terrence J. Sejnowski (1989). Neural Representation and Neural Computation. In L. Nadel (ed.), Philosophical Perspectives. MIT Press 343-382.
  12.  119 DLs
    William D. Casebeer & Patricia S. Churchland (2003). The Neural Mechanisms of Moral Cognition: A Multiple-Aspect Approach to Moral Judgment and Decision-Making. [REVIEW] Biology and Philosophy 18 (1):169-194.
    We critically review themushrooming literature addressing the neuralmechanisms of moral cognition (NMMC), reachingthe following broad conclusions: (1) researchmainly focuses on three inter-relatedcategories: the moral emotions, moral socialcognition, and abstract moral reasoning. (2)Research varies in terms of whether it deploysecologically valid or experimentallysimplified conceptions of moral cognition. Themore ecologically valid the experimentalregime, the broader the brain areas involved.(3) Much of the research depends on simplifyingassumptions about the domain of moral reasoningthat are motivated by the need to makeexperimental progress. This is a (...)
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  13.  110 DLs
    Patricia Smith Churchland, Rick Grush, Rob Wilson & Frank Keil, Computation and the Brain.
    Two very different insights motivate characterizing the brain as a computer. One depends on mathematical theory that defines computability in a highly abstract sense. Here the foundational idea is that of a Turing machine. Not an actual machine, the Turing machine is really a conceptual way of making the point that any well-defined function could be executed, step by step, according to simple 'if-you-are-in-state-P-and-have-input-Q-then-do-R' rules, given enough time (maybe infinite time) [see COMPUTATION]. Insofar as the brain is a device whose (...)
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  14.  107 DLs
    Patricia S. Churchland (1981). Is Determinism Self-Refuting? Mind 90 (January):99-101.
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  15.  106 DLs
    Patricia S. Churchland (2002). Brain-Wise: Studies in Neurophilosophy. MIT Press.
    A neurophilosopher?s take on the self, free will, human understanding, and the experience of God, from the perspective of the brain.
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  16.  89 DLs
    Patricia S. Churchland (1980). Language, Thought, and Information Processing. Noûs 14 (May):147-70.
  17.  85 DLs
    Patricia S. Churchland (1994). Can Neurobiology Teach Us Anything About Consciousness? Proceedings and Addresses of the American Philosophical Association 67 (4):23-40.
  18.  80 DLs
    Paul M. Churchland & Patricia S. Churchland (1981). Functionalism, Qualia and Intentionality. Philosophical Topics 12 (1):121-32.
  19.  75 DLs
    Patricia Churchland (2003). The Neural Mechanisms of Moral Cognition: A Multiple-Aspect Approach to Moral Judgment and Decision-Making. [REVIEW] Biology and Philosophy 18 (1):169-194.
    We critically review themushrooming literature addressing the neuralmechanisms of moral cognition (NMMC), reachingthe following broad conclusions: (1) researchmainly focuses on three inter-relatedcategories: the moral emotions, moral socialcognition, and abstract moral reasoning. (2)Research varies in terms of whether it deploysecologically valid or experimentallysimplified conceptions of moral cognition. Themore ecologically valid the experimentalregime, the broader the brain areas involved.(3) Much of the research depends on simplifyingassumptions about the domain of moral reasoningthat are motivated by the need to makeexperimental progress. This is a (...)
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  20.  74 DLs
    Patricia Churchland, A Neurophilosophical Slant on Consciousness Research.
    Explaining the nature and mechanisms of conscious experience in neurobiological terms seems to be an attainable, if yet unattained, goal. Research at many levels is important, including research at the cellular level that explores the role of recurrent pathways between thalamic nuclei and the cortex, and research that explores consciousness from the perspective of action. Conceptually, a clearer understanding of the logic of expressions such as ‘‘causes’’ and ‘‘correlates’’, and about what to expect from a theory of consciousness are required. (...)
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  21.  70 DLs
    Patricia S. Churchland (1986). Neurophilosophy: Toward A Unified Science of the Mind-Brain. MIT Press.
    This is a unique book. It is excellently written, crammed with information, wise and a pleasure to read.' ---Daniel C. Dennett, Tufts University.
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  22.  62 DLs
    Patricia S. Churchland & Paul M. Churchland, Neural Worlds and Real Worlds.
    States of the brain represent states of the world. A puzzle arises when one learns that at least some of the mind/brain’s internal representations, such as a sensation of heat or a sensation of red, do not genuinely resemble the external realities they allegedly represent: the mean kinetic energy of the molecules of the substance felt (temperature) and the mean electromagnetic reflectance profile of the seen object (color). The historical response has been to declare a distinction between objectively real properties, (...)
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  23.  61 DLs
    Patricia S. Churchland (1981). The Timing of Sensations: Reply to Libet. Philosophy of Science 48 (3):492-7.
  24.  61 DLs
    Paul M. Churchland & Patricia S. Churchland (1983). Stalking the Wild Epistemic Engine. Noûs 17 (March):5-18.
  25.  53 DLs
    Patricia S. Churchland (1980). A Perspective on Mind-Brain Research. Journal of Philosophy 77 (April):185-207.
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  26.  51 DLs
    Patricia Smith Churchland & Terrence J. Sejnowski (1990). Neural Representation and Neural Computation. Philosophical Perspectives 4:343-382.
  27.  50 DLs
    Rick Grush & Patricia Smith Churchland (1995). Gaps in Penroses Toiling. Journal of Consciousness Studies 2 (1):10-29.
    Using the Godel incompleteness result for leverage, Roger Penrose has argued that the mechanism for consciousness involves quantum gravitational phenomena, acting through microtubules in neurons. We show that this hypothesis is implausible. First the Godel result does not imply that human thought is in fact non-algorithmic. Second, whether or not non-algorithmic quantum gravitational phenomena actually exist, and if they did how that could conceivably implicate microtubules, and if microtubules were involved, how that could conceivably implicate consciousness, is entirely speculative. Third, (...)
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  28.  48 DLs
    Patricia Churchland & JeeLoo Liu, The Nature of Consciousness Handout [11].
    *[Intertheoretic Reduction]: ___ When a new and very powerful theory turns out to entail a set of propositions and principles that mirror perfectly the propositions of some older theory or conceptual framework, we can conclude that the old terms and the new terms refer to the very same thing, or express the very same properties. (e.g. heat = high average molecular kinetic energy) The old theory is then said to be "reducible" to the new theory.
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  29.  46 DLs
    Paul M. Churchland & Patricia S. Churchland (1998). On the Contrary: Critical Essays, 1987-1997. Cambridge: MIT Press.
    This collection was prepared in the belief that the most useful and revealing of anyone's writings are often those shorter essays penned in conflict with...
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  30.  41 DLs
    Patricia S. Churchland (1981). On the Alleged Backward Referral of Experience and its Relevance to the Mind-Body Problem. Philosophy of Science 48 (June):165-81.
    A remarkable hypothesis has recently been advanced by Libet and promoted by Eccles which claims that there is standardly a backwards referral of conscious experiences in time, and that this constitutes empirical evidence for the failure of identity of brain states and mental states. Libet's neurophysiological data are critically examined and are found insufficient to support the hypothesis. Additionally, it is argued that even if there is a temporal displacement phenomenon to be explained, a neurophysiological explanation is most likely.
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  31.  41 DLs
    Patricia S. Churchland (1978). Fodor on Language Learning. Synthese 38 (May):149-59.
  32.  36 DLs
    Patricia S. Churchland (1982). Mind-Brain Reduction: New Light From Philosophy of Science. Neuroscience 7:1041-7.
  33.  30 DLs
    Paul M. Churchland & Patricia Smith Churchland (1981). Functionalism, Qualia, and Intentionality. Philosophical Topics 12 (1):121-145.
  34.  28 DLs
    Patricia Smith Churchland (2007). The Necessary-and-Sufficient Boondoggle. American Journal of Bioethics 7 (1):54-55.
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  35.  28 DLs
    Patricia Smith Churchland (2002). Brain Wise. The MIT Press.
    A neurophilosopher?s take on the self, free will, human understanding, and the experience of God, from the perspective of the brain.
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  36.  18 DLs
    Patricia S. Churchland (1988). Replies. Biology and Philosophy 3 (3):893-904.
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  37.  17 DLs
    Patricia Smith Churchland (1974). Logical Form and Ontological Decisions. Journal of Philosophy 71 (17):599-600.
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  38.  17 DLs
    Christopher L. Suhler & Patricia S. Churchland (2009). Control: Conscious and Otherwise. Trends in Cognitive Sciences 13 (8):341-347.
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  39.  17 DLs
    Patricia S. Churchland (1976). How Quine Perceives Perceptual Similarity. Canadian Journal of Philosophy 6 (June):251-255.
  40.  14 DLs
    Patricia S. Churchland (1990). Is Neuroscience Relevant to Philosophy? Canadian Journal of Philosophy 323 (Supplement):323-341.
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  41.  12 DLs
    Patricia S. Churchland (2008). Human Dignity From a Neurophilosophical Perspective. In Adam Schulman (ed.), Human Dignity and Bioethics: Essays Commissioned by the President's Council on Bioethics. [President's Council on Bioethics
  42.  12 DLs
    Christopher Suhler & Patricia Churchland (2009). Psychology and Medical Decision-Making. American Journal of Bioethics 9 (6):79-81.
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  43.  11 DLs
    Willard Van Orman Quine, Patricia Smith Churchland & Dagfinn Føllesdal (2013). Word and Object. The MIT Press.
    Willard Van Orman Quine begins this influential work by declaring, "Language is asocial art.
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  44.  11 DLs
    Patricia Smith Churchland (1983). Dennett' Instrumentalism: A Frog at the Bottom of the Mug. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 6 (3):358.
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  45.  8 DLs
    Paul M. Churchland & Patricia S. Churchland (1992). Intertheoretic Reduction: A Neuroscientist's Field Guide. In Y. Christen & P. S. Churchland (eds.), Neurophilosophy and Alzheimer's Disease. Springer-Verlag 18--29.
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  46.  7 DLs
    Patricia S. Churchland (2015). The Neurobiological Platform for Moral Values. Royal Institute of Philosophy Supplement 76:97-110.
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  47.  5 DLs
    Patricia Smith Churchland (1982). Is the Visual System as Smart as It Looks? PSA: Proceedings of the Biennial Meeting of the Philosophy of Science Association 1982:541 - 552.
    Irvin Rock's hypothesis that certain stages of perceptual processing resemble problem solving in cognition is contrasted to some recent work in computer vision (Marr, Ullman) which tries to reduce intelligence in perception to computational organization. The focal example is subjective contours which Marr thought could be handled by computational modules without descending control, and which Rock thinks are the outcome of intelligent processing.
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  48.  5 DLs
    Jordan Hughes & Patricia S. Churchland (1995). My Behavior Made Me Do It: The Uncaused Cause of Teleological Behaviorism. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 18 (1):130-131.
    Toward a neurobiologically grounded approach to explaining self-control we discuss the case of a patient with a bilateral lesion in frontal ventromedial cortex. Patients with such lesions display a marked deficit in social decision making. Compared with an account that examines the causal antecedents of self-control, Rachlin's behaviorist approach seems lacking in explanatory strength.
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  49.  4 DLs
    Patricia Smith Churchland (1982). Psychological Models and Neural Mechanisms. Journal of Philosophy 79 (2):98-111.
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  50.  4 DLs
    Patricia Churchland (1990). Neurophilosophy: Toward a Unified Theory of the Mind/Brain. Journal of Philosophy 87 (2):93-102.
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