Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan
Author: Steven S. Gouveia
Description: This book explores the methodological strategies for linking philosophy and neuroscience concerning the study of the conscious brain. The author focuses on four distinct methods for relating these two academic disciplines: isolationist, reductionist, neurophenomenological, and non-reductionist. After analyzing the pros and cons of these approaches, Steven S. Gouveia applies them to the concept of Qualia and Information to understand how the metaphilosophical assumptions of each approach influence the definitions of those specific concepts. Gouveia argues for an approach that conceives the interdisciplinarity of both philosophy and neuroscience, in a particular and sound methodology, offering empirical examples of the explanatory power of this methodology over the others. Additionally, he shows how the metaphilosophical assumptions of each methodology―usually taken by researchers implicitly and unconsciously―influence their own approach to the methodological problem.
"As a neuroscientist interested in the mind, I have often turned to philosophy for insight. This, I have found, can be quite challenging without a guide. Steven S. Gouveia’s Philosophy and Neuroscience fills this role nicely. It is a must read for anyone who is interested in learning about the relevance of philosophy for neuroscience, or, like me, would like to apply lessons from philosophy to understand mind and brain."
- Joseph LeDoux, Director of The Emotional Brain Institute, New York University; Professor of Neural Science and Psychology, New York University; Professor of Psychiatry and Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, New York University Langone, USA
"The relevance of neuroscience to philosophy is highly controversial but increasingly important. Steven S. Gouveia’s book insightfully reviews four methodological approaches to philosophy and neuroscience: isolation, reduction, neurophenomenology, and non-reductive neurophilosophy. He plausibly argues for the advantages of the latter approach, shown in its applications to the self, emotions, and conscious experience. The result is a valuable contribution to the philosophy of mind and brain."
- Paul Thagard, Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Philosophy, University of Waterloo, Canada.
"Steven S. Gouveia argues that an iterative and interactive relation between the methodologies of philosophy and neuroscience is both necessary and sufficient for the productive understanding of the mind/brain. On the way to this conclusion, he demonstrates just how various methodologies effect outcomes by presenting a thorough and clear discussion of some major results and failures in the philosophical and scientific study of the mind/brain, a discussion that is both philosophically and empirically well-informed."
- Nicholas Georgalis, Distinguished Research Professor of Philosophy, Department of Philosophy, East Carolina University, USA.
"Should philosophy and neuroscience interact? Assuming they should, how should they interact? In this book, Gouveia systematically explores possible answers to these important questions – reviewing the attractions and limitations of various approaches – isolationist; reductionist; and neurophenomenological. These approaches are assessed in general terms and also by looking closely at case studies to determine how they might handle the pivotally important notions of ‘qualia’ and ‘information’. In the final analysis, Gouveia holds that they all fall short and instead defends a promising non-reductionist approach to the relation of philosophy and neuroscience – one which recommends that these disciplines are at their best when they interact skilfully with one another in a dance of synthesizing engagements."
- Daniel D. Hutto, Senior Professor of Philosophical Psychology & Head of the School of Liberal Arts, University of Wollongong, Australia.
"This is an outstanding book that provides a long-awaited excellent overview of methodological strategies on the interface of philosophy and neuroscience. The author makes a strong case for a non-reductive neurophilosophy as needed in both neuroscience and philosophy to resolve the puzzle of brain-mind connection."
- Georg Northoff, University of Ottawa, Canada, and author of Neurophilosophy and the Healthy Mind.