On the Contrary: Critical Essays, 1987-1997 / Edition 1
Paul and Patricia Churchland take on their critics with verve, combativeness, and generosity.
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.
Preface I Folk Psychology and Eliminative Materialism 1 Folk Psychology Paul M. Churchland 2 Theory, Taxonomy, and Methodology: A Reply to Haldane's "Understanding Folk" Paul M. Churchland 3 Evaluating Our Self-Conception Paul M. Churchland 4 Activation Vectors vs. Propositional Attitudes: How the Brain Represents Reality Paul M. Churchland II Meaning, Qualia, and Emotion: The Several Dimensions of Consciousness 5 Could a Machine Think? Paul M. Churchland and Patricia S. Churchland 6 Intertheoretic Reduction: A Neuroscientist's Field Guide Paul M. Churchland and Patricia S. Churchland 7 Conceptual Similarity Across Sensory and Neural Diversity: The Fodor-Lepore Challenge Answered Paul M. Churchland 8 Betty Crocker's Theory of Consciousness Paul M. Churchland 9 The Rediscovery of Light Paul M. Churchland 10 Knowing Qualia: A Reply to Jackson Paul M. Churchland 11 Recent Work on Consciousness: Philosophical, Theoretical, and Empirical Paul M. Churchland and Patricia S. Churchland 12 Filling In: Why Dennett Is Wrong Patricia S. Churchland and V. S. Ramachandran 13 Gaps in Penrose's Toilings Rick Grush and Patricia S. Churchland 14 Feeling Reasons Patricia S. Churchland III The Philosophy of Science 15 A Deeper Unity: Some Feyerabendian Themes in Neurocomputational Form Paul M. Churchland 16 Reply to Glymour Paul M. Churchland 17 To Transform the Phenomena: Feyerabend, Proliferation, and Recurrent Neural Networks Paul M. Churchland 18 How Parapsychology Could Become a Science Paul M. Churchland Notes References Index
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.
Tim van Gelder
Paul Feyerabend once wrote, 'the hardest task needs the lightest hand.' The Churchlands have the light hand, and put it to good use in On the Contrary. Ranging over some of the most controversial topics of the past decade, the book illustrates and elaborates their influential perspective on mind, knowledge, and science. It is written in the familiar Churchland style-feisty, but always gracious; fast-moving but without superficiality; ambitious, and yet modest.