Brain-Wise: Studies in Neurophilosophy

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Cambridge 2002 Hard cover New. Sewn binding. Cloth over boards. 485 p. Contains: Illustrations. Bradford Books. *****PLEASE NOTE: This item is shipping from an authorized ... seller in Europe. In the event that a return is necessary, you will be able to return your item within the US. To learn more about our European sellers and policies see the BookQuest FAQ section***** Read more Show Less

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Overview

Progress in the neurosciences is profoundly changing our conception of ourselves. Contrary to time-honored intuition, the mind turns out to be a complex of brain functions. And contrary to the wishful thinking of some philosophers, there is no stemming the revolutionary impact that brain research will have on our understanding of how the mind works.

Brain-Wise is the sequel to Patricia Smith Churchland's Neurophilosophy, the book that launched a subfield. In a clear, conversational manner, this book examines old questions about the nature of the mind within the new framework of the brain sciences. What, it asks, is the neurobiological basis of consciousness, the self, and free choice? How does the brain learn about the external world and about its own introspective world? What can neurophilosophy tell us about the basis and significance of religious and moral experiences?

Drawing on results from research at the neuronal, neurochemical, system, and whole-brain levels, the book gives an up-to-date perspective on the state of neurophilosophy--what we know, what we do not know, and where things may go from here.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Churchland explores the organic concept of self and nonself and what they mean both biologically and philosophically." Terrence Riley, MD JAMA

"It is both lucid and profound, cutting through issues where others only obfuscate. The one to read." Maggie McDonald New Scientist

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780262033015
  • Publisher: MIT Press
  • Publication date: 12/2/2002
  • Series: Bradford Books Series
  • Pages: 485
  • Product dimensions: 8.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 1.25 (d)

Meet the Author

Patricia Smith Churchland is UC President's Professor of Philosophy at the University of California, San Diego, and Adjunct Professor at the Salk Institute.

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Table of Contents

Preface
1 Introduction 1
I Metaphysics 35
2 An Introduction to Metaphysics 37
3 Self and Self-Knowledge 59
4 Consciousness 127
5 Free Will 201
II Epistemology 239
6 An Introduction to Epistemology 241
7 How Do Brains Represent? 273
8 How Do Brains Learn? 321
III Religion 371
9 Religion and the Brain 373
Notes 403
References 421
Index 451
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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 1, 2006

    Philosophy meets neuroscience accessibly and controversially

    This masterly book summarizes a prodigious amount of research about the workings of the brain. Author Patricia Smith Churchland introduces the basics of neuroscience to the realm of philosophy. She says that present scientific knowledge about the brain makes it implausible that there is any such thing as an immaterial mind or soul. A committed materialist (although she does not make the case for materialism), she puts a mass of incomplete scientific evidence before you and says that more scientific evidence will emerge over the next decade or so to complete the picture and solidify the case. She does not do justice to contrary views, which she introduces as straw men, easily knocked down. That said, we find that Churchland provides a valuable, highly readable discussion of the challenges neuroscience presents to philosophy. She makes it clear that any philosophy of consciousness must be informed by knowledge of the brain.

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