Monday, March 6, 2017

Neurophilosophy

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Neurophilosophy
Multiple Responses
1.
Empirical (not transcendental) neurophilosophy or philosophy of neuroscience is the interdisciplinary study of neuroscience and philosophy that explores the relevance of neuroscientific studies to the arguments traditionally categorized as philosophy of mind. The philosophy of neuroscience attempts to clarify neuroscientific methods and results using the conceptual rigor and methods of philosophy of science.

While the issue of brain-mind is still open for debate, from the perspective of neurophilosophy, an understanding of the philosophical applications of neuroscience discoveries is nevertheless relevant. Even if neuroscience eventually found that there is no causal relationship between brain and mind, the mind would still remain associated with the brain, some would argue an epiphenomenon, and as such neuroscience would still be relevant for the philosophy of the mind. At the other end of the spectrum, if neuroscience will eventually demonstrate a perfect overlap between brain and mind phenomena, neuroscience would become indispensable for the study of the mind. Clearly, regardless of the status of the brain-mind debate, the study of neuroscience is relevant for philosophy.

2.
The term ``neurophilosophy'' is often used either implicitly or explicitly for characterizing the investigation of philosophical theories in relation to neuroscientific hypotheses. The exact methodological principles and systematic rules for a linkage between philosophical theories and neuroscientific hypothesis, however, remain to be clarified. The present contribution focuses on these principles, as well as on the relation between ontology and epistemology and the characterization of hypothesis in neurophilosophy. Principles of transdisciplinary methodology include the `principle of asymmetry', the `principle of bi-directionality' and the `principle of transdisciplinary circularity'. The `principle of asymmetry' points to an asymmetric relationship between logical and natural conditions. The `principle of bi-directionality' claims for the necessity of bi-directional linkage between natural and logical conditions. The `principle of transdisciplinary circularity' describes systematic rules for mutual comparison and cross-conditional exchange between philosophical theory and neuroscientific hypotheses. The relation between ontology and epistemology no longer is determined by ontological presuppositions i.e. ``ontological primacy''. Instead, there is correspondence between different `epistemological capacities' and different kinds of ontology which consecutively results in ``epistemic primacy'' and ``ontological pluralism''. The present contribution concludes by rejecting some so-called `standard-arguments' including the `argument of circularity', the `argument of categorical fallacy', the `argument of validity' and the `argument of necessity'.

3.
What is Neurophilosophy?
Neurophilosophy is a marriage of the philosophy of mind, the philosophy of science, neuroscience, and psychology. The term was coined by Patricia Churchland, who was dissatisfied with the typical approach of philosophers and instead sought to guide scientific theorizing with philosophy and guide philosophy with scientific discovery. It is generally associated with eliminative materialism because of the Churchlands' association with that school of thought, but this is not necessarily the case. Here, I will list several books necessary for a neurophilosopher and those which may be good for neurophilosophy.

4.

'Neurophilosophy' is the view that all that is mental or mind or consciousness can be solved ultimately by neuroscience.

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