Review of Paul and Patricia Churchland, On the Contrary: critical essays, 1987-1997 [Book Review]

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Cognitive science, with its exuberant neuromythologies, is a regular target for wise humanists who insist that our rich, sharp, sad, and chancy mental life will easily resist the misplaced physics-envy of over-zealous reductionists. Yet there is little true cause for their concern: in the current confusion of multidisciplinary inquiry into computation and the brain, there are few even half-developed visions of a future completed psychology which challenge straightforward metaphysical and moral faith in personal identity and rational agency. It can seem as if those who fear the encroach of science on mind, warning that it will swamp cultural-historical awareness and care, are bewitched only by the memory of a ghoulish behaviourism.
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