Philosophical Foundations of Neuroscience

Behavior and Philosophy 34:71-87 (2006)

Authors
P. M. S. Hacker
Oxford University
Abstract
The book "Philosophical Foundations of Neuroscience" is an engaging criticism of cognitive neuroscience from the perspective of a Wittgensteinian philosophy of ordinary language. The authors' main claim is that assertions like "the brain sees" and "the left hemisphere thinks" are integral to cognitive neuroscience but that they are meaningless because they commit the mereological fallacy—ascribing to parts of humans, properties that make sense to predicate only of whole humans. The authors claim that this fallacy is at the heart of Cartesian dualism, implying that current cognitive neuroscientists are Cartesian dualists. Against this claim, we argue that the fallacy cannot be committed within Cartesian dualism either, for this doctrine does not allow for an intelligible way of asserting that a soul is part of a human being. Also, the authors' Aristotelian essentialistic outlook is at odds with their Wittgensteinian stance, and we were unconvinced by their case against explanatory reductionism. Finally, although their Wittgensteinian stance is congenial with radical behaviorism, their separation between philosophy and science seems less so because it is based on a view of philosophy as a priori. The authors' emphasis on the a priori, however, does not necessarily commit them to rationalism if it is restricted to conceptual or analytical truths.
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
Options
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

Our Archive


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 43,822
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

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Two Conceptions of Subjective Experience.Justin Sytsma & Edouard Machery - 2010 - Philosophical Studies 151 (2):299-327.

View all 184 citations / Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Analytics

Added to PP index
2017-02-20

Total views
1 ( #1,353,298 of 2,265,138 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
1 ( #858,325 of 2,265,138 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads

Sorry, there are not enough data points to plot this chart.

My notes

Sign in to use this feature