Philosophy and the Neurosciences: A Reader

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9780631210450: Philosophy and the Neurosciences: A Reader

By introducing key themes in philosophy of mind, philosophy of science and the basic concepts of neuroscience, this text provides philosophers with the necessary background to engage the neurosciences and offers neuroscientists an introduction to the relevant tools of philosophical analysis.

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We've come a long way from "I think, therefore I am." If only things were that simple; as we see in Philosophy and the Neurosciences: A Reader, the interplay between our thoughts about ourselves and our body of scientific knowledge is becoming increasingly complex and arcane. Edited by Washington University's William Bechtel and several of his former graduate students, the book uses classic and contemporary selections to thoroughly cover several areas of mutual interest to neuroscientists and philosophers. Vision, language, and representation are the hottest topics, and heavy hitters like Broca and the Churchlands dissect them as precisely as their considerable knowledge and skill permit. Each broad section is bookended between a brief introduction and an intriguing question list; the readings are best suited for sparking classroom-style discussion and further research. Still, the individual reader will profit from the clarity and force of the book's arguments regarding the intersection between these two profoundly interesting fields. --Rob Lightner

From the Back Cover:

Philosophy and the Neurosciences is the first systematic integration of philosophy of mind and philosophy of science with neuroscience research. As philosophers have come to focus more and more on the relationship between mind and brain, they have had to take greater account of theory and research in the neurosciences. Likewise, as neuroscientists have learned more about cognitive structures and functions, their investigations have expanded and merged with traditional questions from the philosophy of mind.

By introducing key themes in philosophy of mind, philosophy of science and the fundamental concepts of neuroscience, this text provides philosophers with the necessary background to engage the neurosciences and offers neuroscientists an introduction to the relevant tools of philosophical analysis. Study questions, figures, and references to further reading are provided in each chapter to enhance the reader's understanding of how philosophy and the neurosciences are related in their exploration of the human mind.

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