The BBC World Service recently hosted a discussion with philosopher Patricia Churchland, one of the pioneers of a type of philosophy of mind that directly engages with ongoing discoveries in cognitive and neuroscience.
The discussion starts of with the inevitable recap of Cartesian dualism, where mind and brain were thought to be completely separate entities, before launching into an interesting debate on how we can integrate our experience of the self and subjective experience with evidence from brain science.
The discussion took place at London’s Wellcome Collection who also have a brief interview with Churchland who discusses what she’s currently working on.
Churchland has become interested in oxytocin, which must rank alongside dopamine as one of the most misused bits of brain-behaviour evidence in popular discussion.
While she doesn’t entirely avoid the current over-excitement which portrays oxytocin as a form of ‘empathy potion’ she tackles the science far more completely than you’ll find in your average mainstream media discussion.