Explaining the Brain / Edition 1

Hardcover (Print)
Used and New from Other Sellers
Used and New from Other Sellers
from $17.98
Usually ships in 1-2 business days
(Save 73%)
Other sellers (Hardcover)
  • All (8) from $17.98   
  • New (5) from $56.99   
  • Used (3) from $17.98   


What distinguishes good explanations in neuroscience from bad? Carl F. Craver constructs and defends standards for evaluating neuroscientific explanations that are grounded in a systematic view of what neuroscientific explanations are: descriptions of multilevel mechanisms. In developing this approach, he draws on a wide range of examples in the history of neuroscience (e.g. Hodgkin and Huxley's model of the action potential and LTP as a putative explanation for different kinds of memory), as well as recent philosophical work on the nature of scientific explanation. Readers in neuroscience, psychology, the philosophy of mind, and the philosophy of science will find much to provoke and stimulate them in this book.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"There have been pockets of activity, I would say, but few systematic accounts that explore the field of neuroscience as a whole. Carl Craver's book Explaining the Brain: Mechanisms and the Mosaic Unity of Neuroscience represents this new direction, and an excellent addition to a burgeoning field it is.... Explaining the Brain is timely, well-written, and meticulously argued.... I highly recommend this text to anyone with any interest in how theories in neuroscience are constructed.... As one of the first in-depth treatments of theory-construction in neuroscience, Craver's book sets the bar high. It will be difficult indeed to surpass this work in the near future."-Valerie Gray Hardcastle, Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews

"Overall, Explaining the Brain is a complete read of thoughtful revelations on the inner workings of neuroscience intermixed with a few temperate insinuations on how its complex and ostensibly unsystematic workings may be unified. In summary, Craver's text is a read which is intense and...undeniably enlightening."--Metpsychology Online Reviews

Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780199299317
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press
  • Publication date: 8/2/2007
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 272
  • Product dimensions: 9.30 (w) x 6.00 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Carl F. Craver is Assistant Professor of Philosophy at Washington University in St. Louis.

Read More Show Less

Table of Contents

1. Introduction: Starting With Neuroscience
2. Explanation and Causal Relevance
3. Causal Relevance and Manipulation
4. The Norms of Mechanistic Explanation
5. A Field-Guide to Levels
6. Nonfundamental Explanation
7. The Mosaic Unity of Neuroscience

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 1 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star


4 Star


3 Star


2 Star


1 Star


Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation


  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 6, 2007

    Most substantive treatment of biological mechanisms to date

    If you've been disappointed by the depth of analysis regarding 1) what mechanisms are, 2) how they are used to provide scientific explanations, provided by the 'New Mechanists' (such as Bechtel, Darden, Glennan etc.) then you will enjoy this book. It is more substantive than other accounts of biological mechanisms to date. Its greatest virtue is that it comes to terms with the fact that a philosophical account of biological mechanisms will be most interesting if it provides some normative standard by which to evaluate putative explanations. In general, Craver's account leans *heavily* on the Woodward/Pearl model of causal explanation. The most interesting discussion in my view comes in chapter 4, where Craver tried to provide an account of when a part should be considered a 'component' of a mechanism. The book engages with Cummins, Salmon, Kitcher, Kim, Woodward, and others. I would suspect that it will be of primary interest to philosophers of science, and less so to neuroscientists.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews

If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
Why is this product inappropriate?
Comments (optional)