Plato's Camera: How the Physical Brain Captures a Landscape of Abstract Universals [NOOK Book]

Overview

A noted philosopher draws on the empirical results and conceptual resources of cognitive neuroscience to address questions about the nature of knowledge.
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Plato's Camera: How the Physical Brain Captures a Landscape of Abstract Universals

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Overview

A noted philosopher draws on the empirical results and conceptual resources of cognitive neuroscience to address questions about the nature of knowledge.
Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Metascience

Paul Churchland continues, quite successfully, his bit to persuade the reader that the classical conception of the workings of the brain should be substituted by a construal of the brain as a dynamic neural network.... If a book's success is judged both by the scope of its material and by the amount of novelty it brings, then Churchland's book is an unqualified success.

Minds & Machines

Passionately argued and inspirational.... Churchland's book spans several seldom-bridged topics in epistemology, philosophy of mind, and philosophy of science, and does so with wit and intelligence from its provocative neurocomputational perspective.

Essays in Philosophy

Readers already somewhat familiar with... and intrigued by his quest to constrain computational modeling of the brain based on knowledge of its structural, kinematical, and dynamical properties will find much to relish in this rigorous work.... Churchland's prose is direct, concise and clear.... [an] impressive and provocative account.

From the Publisher
"Paul Churchland continues, quite successfully, his bit to persuade the reader that the classical conception of the workings of the brain should be substituted by a construal of the brain as a dynamic neural network….If a book's success is judged both by the scope of its material and by the amount of novelty it brings, then Churchland's book is an unqualified success."— Metascience

"Passionately argued and inspirational….Churchland's book spans several seldom-bridged topics in epistemology, philosophy of mind, and philosophy of science, and does so with wit and intelligence from its provocative neurocomputational perspective." — Minds& Machines

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780262300827
  • Publisher: MIT Press
  • Publication date: 3/26/2012
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Sales rank: 913,513
  • File size: 10 MB

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.
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Table of Contents

Preface vii

1 Introduction: A Fast Overview 1

1 Some Parallels and Contrasts with Kant 1

2 Representations in the Brain: Ephemeral versus Enduring 4

3 Individual Learning: Slow and Structural 11

4 Individual Learning: Fast and Dynamical 16

5 Collective Learning and Cultural Transmission 25

6 Knowledge: Is It True, Justified Belief? 30

2 First-Level Learning, Part 1: Structural Changes in the Brain and the Development of Lasting Conceptual Frameworks 35

1 The Basic Organization of the Information-Processing Brain 35

2 Some Lessons from Artificial Neural Networks 38

3 Motor Coordination 45

4 More on Colors: Constancy and Compression 50

5 More on Faces: Vector Completion, Abduction, and the Capacity for 'Globally Sensitive Inference' 62

6 Neurosemantics: How the Brain Represents the World 74

7 How the Brain Does Not Represent: First-Order Resemblance 78

8 How the Brain Does Not Represent: Indicator Semantics 90

9 On the Identity/Similarity of Conceptual Frameworks across Distinct Individuals 104

3 First-Level Learning, Part 2: On the Evaluation of Maps and Their Generation by Hebbian Learning 123

1 On the Evaluation of Conceptual Frameworks: A First Pass 123

2 The Neuronal Representation of Structures Unfolding in Time 139

3 Concept Formation via Hebbian Learning: Spatial Structures 157

4 Concept Formation via Hebbian Learning: The Special Case of Temporal Structures 165

5 A Slightly More Realistic Case 170

6 In Search of Still Greater Realism 174

7 Ascending from Several Egocentric Spaces to One Allocentric Space 180

4 Second-Level Learning: Dynamical Changes in the Brain and Domain-Shifted Redeployments of Existing Concepts 187

1 The Achievement of Explanatory Understanding 187

2 On the Evaluation of Conceptual Frameworks: A Second Pass (Conceptual Redeployments) 196

3 On the Evaluation of Conceptual Frameworks: A Third Pass (Intertheoretic Reductions) 204

4 Scientific Realism and the Underdetermination of Theory by Evidence 215

5 Underdetermination Reconceived 223

5 Third-Level Learning: The Regulation and Amplification of First- and Second-Level Learning through a Crowing Network of Cultural Institutions 251

1 The Role of Language in the Business of Human Cognition 251

2 The Emergence and Significance of Regulatory Mechanisms 255

3 Some Prior Takes on This Epicerebral Process 261

4 How Social-Level Institutions Steer Second-Level Learning 268

5 Situated Cognition and Cognitive Theory 274

Appendix 279

References 281

Index 287

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