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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 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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  4. Patricia S. Churchland (2015). The Neurobiological Platform for Moral Values. Royal Institute of Philosophy Supplement 76:97-110.
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  5. 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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  6. Patricia S. Churchland (2012). Braintrust: What Neuroscience Tells Us About Morality. Princeton University Press.
     
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  7. Christopher L. Suhler & Patricia S. Churchland (2009). Control: Conscious and Otherwise. Trends in Cognitive Sciences 13 (8):341-347.
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  8. 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
  9. Patricia Smith Churchland (2007). The Necessary-and-Sufficient Boondoggle. American Journal of Bioethics 7 (1):54-55.
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  10. 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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  11. 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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  12. 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.
  13. 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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  14. 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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  15. 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
  16. 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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  17. 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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  18. 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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  19. 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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  20. 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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  21. 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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  22. 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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  23. 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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  24. 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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  25. Patricia S. Churchland, Terrence J. Sejnowksi & Brian P. McLaughlin (1996). The Computational Brain. Philosophy of Science 63 (1):137.
     
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  26. 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
  27. 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. Rick Grush & Patricia Smith Churchland (1995). Penrose's Toilings. In Thomas Metzinger (ed.), Conscious Experience. Ferdinand Schoningh
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  29. 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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  30. Patricia S. Churchland (1994). Can Neurobiology Teach Us Anything About Consciousness? Proceedings and Addresses of the American Philosophical Association 67 (4):23-40.
  31. 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
  32. 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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  33. 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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  34. 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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  35. 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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  36. 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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  37. Patricia S. Churchland (1990). Is Neuroscience Relevant to Philosophy? Canadian Journal of Philosophy 323 (Supplement):323-341.
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  38. Patricia Smith Churchland & Terrence J. Sejnowski (1990). Neural Representation and Neural Computation. Philosophical Perspectives 4:343-382.
  39. Paul M. Churchland & Patricia S. Churchland (1990). Could a Machine Think? Scientific American 262 (1):32-37.
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  40. Patricia S. Churchland & Terrence J. Sejnowski (1989). Neural Representation and Neural Computation. In L. Nadel (ed.), Philosophical Perspectives. MIT Press 343-382.
  41. Patricia Smith Churchland (1989). Book Review:Memory and Brain Larry R. Squire. [REVIEW] Philosophy of Science 56 (3):539-.
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  42. Patricia S. Churchland (1988). Replies. Biology and Philosophy 3 (3):893-904.
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  43. 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
  44. 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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  45. Patricia S. Churchland (1987). Epistemology in the Age of Neuroscience. Journal of Philosophy 84 (October):546-53.
  46. Patricia Smith Churchland (1987). Leapfrog Over the Brain. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 10 (1):73.
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  47. 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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  48. Patricia S. Churchland (1986). Replies to Comments to Symposium on Patricia Smith Churchland's Neurophilosophy. Inquiry 29 (June):241-272.
  49. Patricia Smith Churchland (1986). Replies to Comments. Inquiry 29 (1-4):241 – 272.
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  50. Patricia S. Churchland (1983). Consciousness: The Transmutation of a Concept. Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 64 (January):80-95.
     
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