A Neurocomputational Perspective: The Nature of Mind and Structure of Science (Bradford Books New edition)

A Neurocomputational Perspective: The Nature of Mind and Structure of Science (Bradford Books New edition)

By: Paul M. Churchland (author)Paperback

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If we are to solve the central problems in the philosophy of science, Paul Churchland argues, we must draw heavily on the resources of the emerging sciences of the mind-brain. A Neurocomputationial Perspective illustrates the fertility of the concepts and data drawn from the study of the brain and of artificial networks that model the brain. These concepts bring unexpected coherence to scattered issues in the philosophy of science, new solutions to old philosophical problems, and new possibilities for the enterprise of science itself.

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About 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.


Part 1 The nature of mind: eliminative materialism and the propositional attitudes - why folk psychology is a theory, why folk psychology might (really) be false, arguments against elimination, the conservative nature of functionalism, beyond folk psychology; functionalism, qualia, and intentionality - four problems concerning qualia, the problem of nonstandard realizations, functionalism and methodology; reduction, qualia, and the direct introspection of brain states - intertheoretic reduction, theoretical change and perceptual change, Thomas Nagel's arguments, Jackson's knowledge argument; knowing qualia - a reply to Jackson - the persistent equivocation, other invalid instances, a genuinely nonequivocal knowledge argument, converting a third-person account into a first-person account; some reductive strategies in cognitive neurobiology - laminar cortex, vertical connections, and topographic maps; sensorimotor coordination, coordinate transformation - its physical implementation, cortex with more than two layers, beyond state-space sandwiches, the representatonal power of state spaces; folk psychology and the explanation of human behaviour - objections to the theoretical view, an alternative form of knowledge representation, addendum - commentary on Dennett; reductionism, connectionism, and the plasticity of human consciousness - the plasticity argument, the cultural-embedding objection. Part 2 The structure of science: the ontological status of observables - in praise of the superempirical virtues - how van Fraassen's problem collapses into Hume's problem, the primacy of the superempirical virtues, toward a more realistic realism; on the nature of theories - a neurocomputational perspective - the classical view of theories, problems and alternative approaches, elementary brainlike networks, representation and learning in brainlike networks, some functional properties of brainlike networks, how faithfully do these networks depict the brain?, computational neuroscience - the naturalization of epistemology; on the nature of explanation - a PDP approach - conceptual organization in PDP networks, recognition and understanding, prototype activation - a unified theory of explanation, inference to the best explanation, comparison with earlier models; learning and conceptual change - multiple conceptual competence, conceptual change versus conceptual redeployment, what drives conceptual change?, automated science; perceptual plasticity and theoretical neutrality - a reply to Jerry Fodor - the etiologty of perceptual belief, the semantics of observation predicates; conceptual progress and word-world relations - in search of the essence of natural kinds - natural kinds and scientific progress - the Putnam-Kripke view, natural kinds as law-bound kinds - some virtues, consequences, and difficulties; moral facts and moral knowledge - the epistemology and ontology of morals, moral prototypes and moral development, praxis, theoria, and progress.

Product Details

  • publication date: 01/06/1992
  • ISBN13: 9780262531061
  • Format: Paperback
  • Number Of Pages: 341
  • ID: 9780262531061
  • weight: 544
  • ISBN10: 0262531062
  • edition: New edition

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