On the Contrary: Critical Essays, 1987-1997 / Edition 1

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Paul M. and Patricia S. Churchland are towering figures in the fields of philosophy, neuroscience, and consciousness. 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 or criticism of one's professional colleagues. The essays present the Churchlands' critical responses to a variety of philosophical positions advanced by some two dozen philosophical theorists. The book is divided into three parts: part I, Folk Psychology and Eliminative Materialism; part II, Meaning, Qualia, and Emotion: The Several Dimensions of Consciousness; and part III, the Philosophy of Science. V. S. Ramachandran and Rick Grush are coauthors on two of the essays.

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Editorial Reviews

Terrence J. Sejnowski
These provocative essays by the Churchlands herald the impact that advances in our understanding of the brain are having on science, society, and who we imagine ourselves to be. -- Terrence J. Sejnowski
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780262531658
  • Publisher: MIT Press
  • Publication date: 6/18/1999
  • Series: Bradford Books Series
  • Edition description: First Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 368
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

Paul M. Churchland is Emeritus Professor of Philosophy at the University of California, San Diego. He is the author of The Engine of Reason, the Seat of the Soul, Matter and Consciousness: A Contemporary Introduction to the Philosophy of Mind (both published by the MIT Press),and other books.

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

I Folk Psychology and Eliminative Materialism 1
1 Folk Psychology 3
2 Theory, Taxonomy, and Methodology: A Reply to Haldane's "Understanding Folk" 17
3 Evaluating Our Self-Conception 25
4 Activation Vectors vs. Propositional Attitudes: How the Brain Represents Reality 39
II Meaning, Qualia, and Emotion: The Several Dimensions of Consciousness 45
5 Could a Machine Think? 47
6 Intertheoretic Reduction: A Neuroscientist's Field Guide 65
7 Conceptual Similarity across Sensory and Neural Diversity: The Fodor-Lepore Challenge Answered 81
8 Betty Crocker's Theory of Consciousness 113
9 The Rediscovery of Light 123
10 Knowing Qualia: A Reply to Jackson 143
11 Recent Work on Consciousness: Philosophical, Theoretical, and Empirical 159
12 Filling In: Why Dennett Is Wrong 177
13 Gaps in Penrose's Toilings 205
14 Feeling Reasons 231
III The Philosophy of Science 255
15 A Deeper Unity: Some Feyerabendian Themes in Neurocomputational Form 257
16 Reply to Glymour 281
17 To Transform the Phenomena: Feyerabend, Proliferation, and Recurrent Neural Networks 289
18 How Parapsychology Could Become a Science 305
Notes 321
References 331
Index 345
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