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  1. added 2019-06-18
    Consciousness Science Underdetermined: A Short History of Endless Debates.Matthias Michel - forthcoming - Ergo: An Open Access Journal of Philosophy.
    Consciousness scientists have not reached consensus on two of the most central questions in their field: first, on whether consciousness overflows reportability; second, on the physical basis of consciousness. I review the scientific literature of the 19th century to provide evidence that disagreement on these questions has been a feature of the scientific study of consciousness for a long time. Based on this historical review, I hypothesize that a unifying explanation of disagreement on these questions, up to this day, is (...)
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  2. added 2019-06-05
    Interdependent Concepts and Their Independent Uses: Mental Imagery and Hallucinations.Eden T. Smith - 2018 - Perspectives on Science 26 (3):360-399.
    The scientific concepts of mental imagery and hallucinations are each used independently of the other; uses that simultaneously evoke and obscure their historical connections. In this paper, I aim to illustrate the relevance of examining one of these historical connections for studying the current uses of these two concepts in neuroimaging experiments. To this end, I will highlight interdependent associations within the histories of each of the concepts that continue to contribute to their independent uses.That mental imagery and hallucinations are (...)
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  3. added 2019-06-05
    The Structured Uses of Concepts as Tools: Comparing fMRI Experiments That Investigate Either Mental Imagery or Hallucinations.Eden T. Smith - 2018 - Dissertation, University of Melbourne
    Sensations can occur in the absence of perception and yet be experienced ‘as if’ seen, heard, tasted, or otherwise perceived. Two concepts used to investigate types of these sensory-like mental phenomena (SLMP) are mental imagery and hallucinations. Mental imagery is used as a concept for investigating those SLMP that merely resemble perception in some way. Meanwhile, the concept of hallucinations is used to investigate those SLMP that are, in some sense, compellingly like perception. This may be a difference of degree. (...)
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  4. added 2019-04-18
    Wiring Optimization Explanation in Neuroscience: What is Special About It?Sergio Daniel Barberis - 2019 - Theoria : An International Journal for Theory, History and Fundations of Science 1 (34):89-110.
    This paper examines the explanatory distinctness of wiring optimization models in neuroscience. Wiring optimization models aim to represent the organizational features of neural and brain systems as optimal (or near-optimal) solutions to wiring optimization problems. My claim is that that wiring optimization models provide design explanations. In particular, they support ideal interventions on the decision variables of the relevant design problem and assess the impact of such interventions on the viability of the target system.
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  5. added 2018-08-28
    Emil du Bois-Reymond on "The Seat of the Soul".Gabriel Finkelstein - 2014 - Journal of the History of the Neurosciences 23 (1):45-55.
    The German pioneer of electrophysiology, Emil du Bois-Reymond (1818–1896), is generally assumed to have remained silent on the subject of the brain. However, the archive of his papers in Berlin contains manuscript notes to a lecture on “The Seat of the Soul” that he delivered to popular audiences in 1884 and 1885. These notes demonstrate that cerebral localization and brain function in general had been concerns of his for quite some time, and that he did not shy away from these (...)
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  6. added 2018-08-27
    Michel Meulders, Helmholtz, des Lumières aux Neurosciences, Paris: Editions Odile Jacob, 2001. [REVIEW]Gabriel Finkelstein - 2002 - Journal of the History of the Neurosciences 11 (3):317-319.
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  7. added 2018-04-26
    Cajal’s Law of Dynamic Polarization: Mechanism and Design.Sergio Daniel Barberis - 2018 - Philosophies 3 (2):11-0.
    Santiago Ramón y Cajal, the primary architect of the neuron doctrine and the law of dynamic polarization, is considered to be the founder of modern neuroscience. At the same time, many philosophers, historians, and neuroscientists agree that modern neuroscience embodies a mechanistic perspective on the explanation of the nervous system. In this paper, I review the extant mechanistic interpretation of Cajal’s contribution to modern neuroscience. Then, I argue that the extant mechanistic interpretation fails to capture the explanatory import of Cajal’s (...)
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  8. added 2017-09-25
    Is Empiricism Empirically False? Lessons From Early Nervous Systems.Marcin Miłkowski - 2017 - Biosemiotics 10 (2):229-245.
    Recent work on skin-brain thesis suggests the possibility of empirical evidence that empiricism is false. It implies that early animals need no traditional sensory receptors to be engaged in cognitive activity. The neural structure required to coordinate extensive sheets of contractile tissue for motility provides the starting point for a new multicellular organized form of sensing. Moving a body by muscle contraction provides the basis for a multicellular organization that is sensitive to external surface structure at the scale of the (...)
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  9. added 2017-07-30
    HIT and Brain Reward Function: A Case of Mistaken Identity (Theory).Cory Wright, Matteo Colombo & Alexander Beard - 2017 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 64:28–40.
    This paper employs a case study from the history of neuroscience—brain reward function—to scrutinize the inductive argument for the so-called ‘Heuristic Identity Theory’ (HIT). The case fails to support HIT, illustrating why other case studies previously thought to provide empirical support for HIT also fold under scrutiny. After distinguishing two different ways of understanding the types of identity claims presupposed by HIT and considering other conceptual problems, we conclude that HIT is not an alternative to the traditional identity theory so (...)
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  10. added 2017-05-08
    Long-Term Potentiation: One Kind or Many?Jacqueline Sullivan - 2016 - In Eppur Si Muove: Doing History and Philosophy of Science with Peter Machamer, A Collection of Essays in Honor of Peter Machamer. Springer Verlag. pp. 127-140.
    Do neurobiologists aim to discover natural kinds? I address this question in this chapter via a critical analysis of classification practices operative across the 43-year history of research on long-term potentiation (LTP). I argue that this 43-year history supports the idea that the structure of scientific practice surrounding LTP research has remained an obstacle to the discovery of natural kinds.
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  11. added 2017-03-19
    Alexander Forbes, Walter Cannon, and Science-Based Literature.Justin Garson - 2013 - In A. Stiles, S. Finger & F. Boller (eds.), Progress in Brain Research Vol. 205: Literature, Neurology, and Neuroscience: Historical and Literary Connections. Amsterdam: Elsevier. pp. 241-256.
    The Harvard physiologists Alexander Forbes (1882-1965) and Walter Bradford Cannon (1871-1945) had an enormous impact on the physiology and neuroscience of the twentieth century. In addition to their voluminous scientific output, they also used literature to reflect on the nature of science itself and its social significance. Forbes wrote a novel, The Radio Gunner, a literary memoir, Quest for a Northern Air Route, and several short stories. Cannon, in addition to several books of popular science, wrote a literary memoir in (...)
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  12. added 2017-02-08
    The Birth of Information in the Brain: Edgar Adrian and the Vacuum Tube.Justin Garson - 2015 - Science in Context 28 (1):31-52.
    As historian Henning Schmidgen notes, the scientific study of the nervous system would have been “unthinkable” without the industrialization of communication in the 1830s. Historians have investigated extensively the way nerve physiologists have borrowed concepts and tools from the field of communications, particularly regarding the nineteenth-century work of figures like Helmholtz and in the American Cold War Era. The following focuses specifically on the interwar research of the Cambridge physiologist Edgar Douglas Adrian, and on the technology that led to his (...)
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  13. added 2016-12-08
    Materialism and ‘the Soft Substance of the Brain’: Diderot and Plasticity.Charles T. Wolfe - 2017 - British Journal for the History of Philosophy 25 (5):963-982.
    ABSTRACTMaterialism is the view that everything that is real is material or is the product of material processes. It tends to take either a ‘cosmological’ form, as a claim about the ultimate nature of the world, or a more specific ‘psychological’ form, detailing how mental processes are brain processes. I focus on the second, psychological or cerebral form of materialism. In the mid-to-late eighteenth century, the French materialist philosopher Denis Diderot was one of the first to notice that any self-respecting (...)
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  14. added 2016-03-25
    Review of Michel Jouvet, the Paradox of Sleep: The Story of Dreaming; and Patricia Cox Miller, Dreams in Late Antiquity. [REVIEW]John Sutton - 2001 - Journal of the History of the Neurosciences 10:355-358.
    This review describes central difficulties in the interdisciplinary study of dreaming, summarizes Jouvet's account of his role in the history of modern dream science, queries his positive speculations on the semantics of dreaming, and suggests work for historians of neuroscience.
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  15. added 2015-08-27
    Eine fulminante Lehnstuhlkritik der Neurowissenschaften.Geert Keil - 2005 - Deutsche Zeitschrift für Philosophie 53 (6):951-955.
    Review of Max Bennett's and Peter Hacker's book PHILOSOPHICAL FOUNDATIONS OF NEUROSCIENCE, Oxford University Press 2003.
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  16. added 2015-08-26
    Eine fulminante Lehnstuhlkritik der Neurowissenschaften. Uber: Max R. Bennett/Peter M. S. Hacker: Philosophical Foundations of Neuroscience. [REVIEW]Geert Keil - 2005 - Deutsche Zeitschrift für Philosophie (6):951.
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