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Profile: Patricia Smith Churchland (University of California, San Diego)
  1. 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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  2. 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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  3. 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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  4. 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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  5. 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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  6. 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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  7. 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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  8. Patricia S. Churchland (2012). Braintrust: What Neuroscience Tells Us About Morality. Princeton University Press.
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  9. Christopher L. Suhler & Patricia S. Churchland (2009). Control: Conscious and Otherwise. Trends in Cognitive Sciences 13 (8):341-347.
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  10. Christopher Suhler & Patricia Churchland (2009). Psychology and Medical Decision-Making. American Journal of Bioethics 9 (6):79-81.
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  11. 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.
  12. Patricia Smith Churchland (2007). The Necessary-and-Sufficient Boondoggle. American Journal of Bioethics 7 (1):54-55.
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  13. Patricia Churchland (2005). Poderá a neurobiologia ensinar-nos alguma coisa acerca da consciência? Critica.
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  14. Patricia S. Churchland (2005). Moral Decision-Making and the Brain. In Judy Illes (ed.), Neuroethics: Defining the Issues in Theory, Practice, and Policy. Oup Oxford.
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  15. 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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  16. 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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  17. 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.
  18. 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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  19. 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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  20. Patricia S. Churchland, Ilya B. Farber & Will Peterman (2001). The View From Here: The Nonsymbolic Structure of Spatial Representation. In Joao Branquinho (ed.), The Foundations of Cognitive Science. Oxford: Clarendon Press.
  21. Paul M. Churchland & Patricia S. Churchland (2001). A Neuroscientist's Field Guide In W. Bechtel, P. Mandik, J. Mundale & RS Stufflebeam. In William P. Bechtel, Pete Mandik, Jennifer Mundale & Robert S. Stufflebeam (eds.), Philosophy and the Neurosciences: A Reader. Blackwell. 419--430.
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  22. Paul M. Churchland & Patricia S. Churchland (2001). McCauley's Demand for a Co-Level Competitor. In William P. Bechtel, Pete Mandik, Jennifer Mundale & Robert S. Stufflebeam (eds.), Philosophy and the Neurosciences: A Reader. Blackwell. 457--465.
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  23. Ilya Farber, Will Peterman & Patricia Smith Churchland (2001). 4 The View From Here: The Nonsymbolic Structure of Spatial. In João Branquinho (ed.), The Foundations of Cognitive Science. Oxford: Clarendon Press.
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  24. Paul M. Churchland, Patricia S. Churchland & Alice Drewery (2000). Reviews-On the Contrary: Critical Essays 1987-1997. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 51 (3):507-512.
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  25. 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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  26. 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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  27. 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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  28. Patricia S. Churchland (1996). Do We Propose to Eliminate Consciousness? In Robert N. McCauley (ed.), The Churchlands and Their Critics. Blackwell Publishers. 297--300.
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  29. Patricia S. Churchland (1996). The Hornswoggle Problem. Journal of Consciousness Studies 3 (5-6):402-8.
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  30. Patricia S. Churchland, Terrence J. Sejnowksi & Brian P. McLaughlin (1996). The Computational Brain. Philosophy of Science 63 (1):137.
     
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  31. Ilya B. Farber & Patricia S. Churchland (1995). Consciousness and the Neurosciences: Philosophical and Theoretical Issues. In Michael S. Gazzaniga (ed.), The Cognitive Neurosciences. Mit Press.
  32. Rick Grush & Patricia Smith Churchland (1995). Gaps in Penroses Toiling. Journal of Consciousness Studies 2 (1):10-29.
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  33. Rick Grush & Patricia Smith Churchland (1995). Penrose's Toilings. In Thomas Metzinger (ed.), Conscious Experience. Ferdinand Schoningh.
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  34. 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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  35. Patricia S. Churchland (1994). Can Neurobiology Teach Us Anything About Consciousness? Proceedings and Addresses of the American Philosophical Association 67 (4):23-40.
  36. 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.
  37. Why Dennett is Wrong, Patricia Smith Churchland & Vilayanur S. Ramachandran (1994). Filling In. In Antti Revonsuo & Matti Kamppinen (eds.), Consciousness in Philosophy and Cognitive Neuroscience. Lawrence Erlbaum.
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  38. Patricia S. Churchland (1993). The Co-Evolutionary Research Ideology. In Alvin Goldman (ed.), Readings in Philosophy and Cognitive Science. Cambridge: Mit Press.
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  39. 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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  40. Patricia S. Churchland & Vilayanur S. Ramachandran (1993). Filling In: Why Dennett is Wrong. In B. Dahlbom (ed.), Dennett and His Critics. Blackwell.
     
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  41. 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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  42. Patricia S. Churchland (1990). Is Neuroscience Relevant to Philosophy? Canadian Journal of Philosophy 323 (Supplement):323-341.
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  43. Patricia Smith Churchland & Terrence J. Sejnowski (1990). Neural Representation and Neural Computation. Philosophical Perspectives 4:343-382.
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  44. Paul M. Churchland & Patricia S. Churchland (1990). Could a Machine Think? Scientific American 262 (1):32-37.
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  45. Patricia S. Churchland & Terrence J. Sejnowski (1989). Neural Representation and Neural Computation. In L. Nadel (ed.), Neural Connections, Mental Computations. MIT Press. 343-382.
  46. Patricia Smith Churchland (1989). Book Review:Memory and Brain Larry R. Squire. [REVIEW] Philosophy of Science 56 (3):539-.
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  47. Patricia S. Churchland (1988). Replies. Biology and Philosophy 3 (3):893-904.
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  48. Patricia S. Churchland (1988). Reduction and the Neurobiological Basis of Consciousness. In Anthony J. Marcel & E. Bisiach (eds.), Consciousness in Contemporary Science. Oxford University Press.
  49. Patricia S. Churchland (1988). Replies to Reviews of Psychology's Place in the Science of the Mind/Brain. Biology and Philosophy 3 (July):393-402.
     
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  50. Patricia S. Churchland (1987). Epistemology in the Age of Neuroscience. Journal of Philosophy 84 (October):546-53.
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