Neurophilosophers in The New Yorker

The Feb 12th edition of The New Yorker has an extensive article on neurophilosophers Paul and Patricia Churchland.

Unfortunately, it doesn’t look like the article is available online, even to subscribers, but is worth checking out if you catch a copy in the library or on news stands as it’s an in-depth look into their work and theories.

The Churchlands are known for a radical approach to philosophy of mind called eliminative materialism that argues that we should reject the majority of psychological concepts we talk about in everyday language.

Everyday theories of the mind are known as folk psychology and includes concepts such as belief and intention.

They argue that neuroscience will not eventually produce better specified theories of (for example) belief, but that like the four humours theory of medicine, the concept of belief will eventually be rejected wholesale as science advances and that the concept as it currently stands is little more than a linguistic fiction.

Link to excellent Wikipedia article on eliminative materialism.

One Comment

  1. Posted February 10, 2007 at 4:17 am | Permalink

    Really interesting. Never heard of such approach as eliminative materialism.

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