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Knowing Your Way Around

4 May 2012, 14:34 UTC
Knowing Your Way Around
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Philosophy and neuroscience have a productive relationship. Philosopher Alva Noë talks about the neuroscience of consciousness over at Big Think.

by Alva Noë



One area where philosophy and experimental science enjoy a lively and fruitful collaboration is the field of cognitive science. One reason for this is that cognitive science — working, as it does, on such topics as perception, memory, consciousness, action and the like — is not in a position to take any single working definition of any of these for granted. In effect, they are forced to engage in philosophy, whether they like it or not. A second reason is that, especially in the last 30 years or so, there has developed a shared culture between philosophers working on the nature of mind and scientists working in the same area. There are philosophers — Dennett, Fodor, Block, Searle, to mention only a few — whose writings are bread and butter for cognitive scientists; these philosophical authors are giants of cognitive science. The same is true in reverse. Marr working on vision or Chomsky on language, to give only two examples, are writers whose works have a ...

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