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A Theory of Feelings Anger and Forgiveness"My Madness Saved Me"10 Good Questions about Life and Death12 Modern Philosophers50 Reasons People Give for Believing in a GodA Cabinet of Philosophical CuriositiesA Case for IronyA Companion to BioethicsA Companion to Buddhist PhilosophyA Companion to FoucaultA Companion to GenethicsA Companion to GenethicsA Companion to HumeA Companion to KantA Companion to Phenomenology and ExistentialismA Companion to PragmatismA Companion to the Philosophy of ActionA Companion to the Philosophy of BiologyA Companion to the Philosophy of LiteratureA Conceptual History of PsychologyA Critical Overview of Biological FunctionsA Critique of Naturalistic Philosophies of MindA Cursing Brain?A Delicate BalanceA Farewell to AlmsA Frightening LoveA Future for PresentismA Guide to the Good LifeA History of PsychiatryA History of the MindA Life Worth LivingA Manual of Experimental PhilosophyA Map of the MindA Metaphysics of PsychopathologyA Mind So RareA Natural History of Human MoralityA Natural History of Human ThinkingA Natural History of VisionA Parliament of MindsA Philosopher Looks at The Sense of HumorA Philosophical DiseaseA Philosophy of BoredomA Philosophy of Cinematic ArtA Philosophy of CultureA Philosophy of EmptinessA Philosophy of FearA Philosophy of PainA Physicalist ManifestoA Place for ConsciousnessA Question of TrustA Research Agenda for DSM-VA Revolution of the MindA Sentimentalist Theory of the MindA Stroll With William JamesA Tear is an Intellectual ThingA Theory of FreedomA Thousand MachinesA Universe of ConsciousnessA Very Bad WizardA Virtue EpistemologyA World Full of GodsA World Without ValuesAbout FaceAbout the Beginning of the Hermeneutics of the SelfAction and ResponsibilityAction in ContextAction Theory, Rationality and CompulsionAction, Contemplation, and HappinessAction, Emotion and WillAdam SmithAdaptive DynamicsAddictionAddictionAddiction and ResponsibilityAddiction Is a ChoiceAdvances in Identity Theory and ResearchAftermathAfterwarAgainst AdaptationAgainst AutonomyAgainst BioethicsAgainst HappinessAgainst HealthAgency and ActionAgency and AnswerabilityAgency and EmbodimentAgency and ResponsibilityAgency, Freedom, and Moral ResponsibilityAl-JununAlain BadiouAlain BadiouAlasdair MacIntyreAlien Landscapes?Altered EgosAn Anthology of Psychiatric EthicsAn Ethics for TodayAn Intellectual History of CannibalismAn Interpretation of DesireAn Introduction to EthicsAn Introduction to Kant's Moral Philosophy An Introduction to Philosophy of EducationAn Introduction to the Philosophy of MindAn Introduction to the Philosophy of MindAn Introduction to the Philosophy of PsychologyAn Introductory Philosophy of MedicineAn Odd Kind of FameAnalytic FreudAnalytic Philosophy in AmericaAncient AngerAncient Models of MindAncient Philosophy of the SelfAngerAnimal LessonsAnimal MindsAnimals Like UsAnnihilationAnother PlanetAnswers for AristotleAnti-ExternalismAnti-Individualism and KnowledgeAntigone’s ClaimAntipsychiatryAre We Hardwired?Are Women Human?Arguing about DisabilityArguing About Human NatureAristotle and the Philosophy of FriendshipAristotle on Practical WisdomAristotle's ChildrenAristotle's Ethics and Moral ResponsibilityAristotle, Emotions, and EducationArt & MoralityArt After Conceptual ArtArt in Three DimensionsArt, Self and KnowledgeArtificial ConsciousnessArtificial HappinessAspects of PsychologismAsylum to ActionAtonement and ForgivenessAttention is Cognitive UnisonAutobiography as PhilosophyAutonomyAutonomy and Mental DisorderAutonomy and the Challenges to LiberalismBabies by DesignBackslidingBadiouBadiou's DeleuzeBadiou, Balibar, Ranciere: Rethinking EmancipationBare Facts And Naked TruthsBasic Desert, Reactive Attitudes and Free WillBattlestar Galactica and PhilosophyBeautyBecoming a SubjectBecoming HumanBehavingBehavioral Genetics in the Postgenomic EraBeing AmoralBeing HumanBeing Mentally Ill: A Sociological Theory Being No OneBeing Realistic about ReasonsBeing ReducedBeing YourselfBelief's Own EthicsBending Over BackwardsBerlin Childhood around 1900Bernard WilliamsBertrand RussellBetter than BothBetter Than WellBetween Two WorldsBeyond HealthBeyond Hegel and NietzscheBeyond KuhnBeyond LossBeyond Moral JudgmentBeyond PostmodernismBeyond ReductionBeyond the DSM StoryBioethicsBioethics and the BrainBioethics in the ClinicBiological Complexity and Integrative PluralismBiology Is TechnologyBiosBipolar ExpeditionsBlackwell Companion to the Philosophy of EducationBlindsight & The Nature of ConsciousnessBlues - Philosophy for EveryoneBlushBob Dylan and PhilosophyBody ConsciousnessBody Image And Body SchemaBody ImagesBody LanguageBody MattersBody WorkBody-Subjects and Disordered MindsBoundBoundaries of the MindBoyleBrain Evolution and CognitionBrain FictionBrain, Mind, and Human Behavior in Contemporary Cognitive ScienceBrain-WiseBrainchildrenBrains, Buddhas, and BelievingBrainstormingBrave New WorldsBreakdown of WillBrief Child Therapy Homework PlannerBrief Inquiry into the Meaning of Sin and FaithBrief Therapy Homework PlannerBritain on the CouchBrute RationalityBuffy the Vampire Slayer and PhilosophyBut Is It Art?Camus and SartreCartesian LinguisticsCartographies of the MindCarving Nature at Its JointsCase Studies in Biomedical Research EthicsCassandra's DaughterCato's TearsCausation and CounterfactualsCauses, Laws, and Free WillChanging Conceptions of the Child from the Renaissance to Post-ModernityChanging the SubjectChaosophyCharacter and Moral Psychology Character as Moral FictionCharles DarwinCherishmentChildhood and the Philosophy of EducationChildrenChildren, Families, and Health Care Decision MakingChoices and ConflictChoosing Not to ChooseChristmas - Philosophy for EveryoneCinema, Philosophy, BergmanCinematic MythmakingCity and Soul in Plato's RepublicClassifying MadnessClear and Queer ThinkingClinical EthicsClinical Psychiatry in Imperial GermanyCodependent ForevermoreCoffee - Philosophy for EveryoneCognition and the BrainCognition of Value in Aristotle's EthicsCognition Through Understanding: Self-Knowledge, Interlocution, Reasoning, ReflectionCognitive BiologyCognitive FictionsCognitive Neuroscience of EmotionCognitive Systems and the Extended MindCognitive Systems and the Extended Mind Cognitive Theories of Mental IllnessCoherence in Thought and ActionCollected Papers, Volume 1Collected Papers, Volume 2College SexComedy IncarnateCommitmentCommunicative Action and Rational ChoiceCompetence, Condemnation, and CommitmentConcealment And ExposureConceptual Analysis and Philosophical NaturalismConceptual Art and PaintingConceptual Issues in Evolutionary BiologyConfessionsConfucianismConnected, or What It Means to Live in the Network SocietyConquest of AbundanceConscience and ConvenienceConsciousnessConsciousnessConsciousnessConsciousness ConsciousnessConsciousness and Its Place in NatureConsciousness and LanguageConsciousness and Mental LifeConsciousness and MindConsciousness and the NovelConsciousness and the SelfConsciousness EmergingConsciousness EvolvingConsciousness ExplainedConsciousness in ActionConsciousness RecoveredConsciousness RevisitedConsciousness, Color, and ContentConsole and ClassifyConstructing the WorldConstructive AnalysisContemporary Debates In Applied EthicsContemporary Debates in Moral TheoryContemporary Debates in Philosophy of BiologyContemporary Debates in Philosophy of MindContemporary Debates in Political PhilosophyContemporary Debates in Social PhilosophyContemporary Perspectives on Natural LawContested Knowledge: Social Theory TodayContesting PsychiatryContext and the AttitudesContinental Philosophy of ScienceControlControlling Our DestiniesConversations About Psychology and Sexual OrientationCopernicus, Darwin and FreudCrazy for YouCreating a Life of Meaning and CompassionCreating ConsilienceCreating HysteriaCreating Mental IllnessCreating Scientific ConceptsCreating the American JunkieCreation, Rationality and AutonomyCreatures Like Us?Crime and CulpabilityCrime, Punishment, and Mental IllnessCrimes of ReasonCritical New Perspectives on Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity DisorderCritical PsychiatryCritical PsychologyCritical ResistanceCritical Thinking About PsychologyCritical VisionsCross and KhoraCruel CompassionCTRL [SPACE]Cultural Psychology of the SelfCultural Theory: An IntroductionCulture and Psychiatric DiagnosisCulture and Subjective Well-BeingCulture of DeathCultures of NeurastheniaCurious EmotionsCurrent Controversies in Experimental PhilosophyCustom and Reason in HumeCustomers and Patrons of the Mad-TradeCutting God in Half - And Putting the Pieces Together AgainCylons in AmericaDamaged IdentitiesDamasio's Error and Descartes' TruthDangerous EmotionsDaniel DennettDaniel DennettDark AgesDarwin and DesignDarwin's Dangerous IdeaDarwin's LegacyDarwin, God and the Meaning of LifeDarwinian PsychiatryDarwinian ReductionismDarwinizing CultureDating: Philosophy for EveryoneDeathDeathDeath and CharacterDeath and CompassionDeath and the AfterlifeDebating DesignDebating HumanismDecision Making, Personhood and DementiaDecomposing the WillDeconstructing PsychotherapyDeconstruction and DemocracyDeeper Than DarwinDeeper than ReasonDefending Science - within ReasonDefining Psychopathology in the 21st CenturyDegrees of BeliefDelusion and Self-DeceptionDelusions and Other Irrational BeliefsDelusions and the Madness of the MassesDementiaDemons, Dreamers, and MadmenDennett and Ricoeur on the Narrative SelfDennett’s PhilosophyDepression Is a ChoiceDepression, Emotion and the SelfDepthDerrida, Deleuze, PsychoanalysisDescartesDescartes and the Passionate MindDescartes' CogitoDescartes's Changing MindDescartes's Concept of MindDescribing Inner Experience?Descriptions and PrescriptionsDesembodied Spirits and Deanimated Bodies Desert Islands and Other Texts (1953-1974)Desire and AffectDesire, Love, and IdentityDesire, Practical Reason, and the GoodDeveloping the VirtuesDiagnosing the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental DisordersDialectics of the SelfDid My Neurons Make Me Do It?Difference and IdentityDigital SoulDimensional Models of Personality DisordersDisability, Difference, DiscriminationDisjunctivismDisorders of VolitionDisorientation and Moral LifeDispatches from the Freud WarsDisrupted LivesDistractionDisturbed ConsciousnessDivided Minds and Successive SelvesDo Apes Read Minds?Do Fish Feel Pain?Do We Still Need Doctors?Does Consciousness Cause Behavior?Does the Woman Exist?Doing without ConceptsDon't Believe Everything You ThinkDonald DavidsonDonald Davidson on Truth, Meaning, and the MentalDoubting Darwin?Dreaming and Other Involuntary MentationDSM-IV SourcebookDSM-IV SourcebookDSM-IV-TR CasebookDworkin and His CriticsDying to KnowDynamics in ActionDysthymia and the Spectrum of Chronic DepressionsEccentricsEducational MetamorphosesEffective IntentionsElbow Room: The Varieties of Free Will Worth WantingEmbodied Minds in ActionEmbodied RhetoricsEmbodied Selves and Divided MindsEmbryos under the MicroscopeEmergencies in Mental Health PracticeEmerging Conceptual, Ethical and Policy Issues in BionanotechnologyEmotionEmotion and ConsciousnessEmotion and PsycheEmotion ExperienceEmotion RegulationEmotion, Evolution, And RationalityEmotional IntelligenceEmotional ReasonEmotional ReasonEmotional TruthEmotions in Humans and ArtifactsEmotions in the Moral LifeEmotions in the Moral LifeEmotions, Value, and AgencyEmpathyEmpathy and AgencyEmpathy and Moral DevelopmentEmpathy and MoralityEmpathy in the Context of PhilosophyEmpirical Ethics in PsychiatryEnchanted LoomsEngaging BuddhismEngineering the Human GermlineEnjoymentEnvyEpicureanismEpistemic LuckEpistemologyEpistemology and EmotionsEpistemology and the Psychology of Human JudgmentEros and the GoodErotic MoralityEssays in Social NeuroscienceEssays in the Metaphysics of Mind Essays on Derek Parfit's On What MattersEssays on Free Will and Moral ResponsibilityEssays on Nonconceptual ContentEssays on Philosophical CounselingEssays on Reference, Language, and MindEssays on the Concept of Mind in Early-Modern PhilosophyEssential Sources in the Scientific Study of ConsciousnessEsssential Philosophy of PsychiatryEternal Sunshine of the Spotless MindEthical Conflicts in PsychologyEthical Issues in Forensic Mental Health ResearchEthical Issues in Human CloningEthical TheoryEthicsEthicsEthics and the A PrioriEthics and the Metaphysics of MedicineEthics and Values in PsychotherapyEthics Done RightEthics ExpertiseEthics in Plain EnglishEthics in PracticeEthics in Psychiatric ResearchEthics of PsychiatryEthics without OntologyEuropean Review of Philosophy. Vol. 5Everyday IrrationalityEvil in Modern ThoughtEvolutionEvolution and the Human MindEvolution's RainbowEvolutionary Origins of MoralityEvolutionary PsychologyExamined LifeExamined LivesExistential AmericaExistentialismExistentialism and Romantic LoveExperimental PhilosophyExperimental PhilosophyExperimental PhilosophyExperimental Philosophy, Rationalism, and NaturalismExperiments in EthicsExplaining ConsciousnessExplaining the BrainExplaining the Computational MindExplanatory PluralismExploding the Gene MythExploring HappinessExploring the SelfExpression and the InnerExpressions of JudgmentFaces of IntentionFact and ValueFact and Value in EmotionFacts, Values, and NormsFads and Fallacies in the Social SciencesFaith and Wisdom in ScienceFatherhoodFear of KnowledgeFearless SpeechFeeling Pain and Being in PainFeelings and EmotionsFeelings of BeingFellow-Feeling and the Moral LifeFeminism and Its DiscontentsFeminism and Philosophy of ScienceFeminist Ethics and Social and Political PhilosophyFeminist Interpretations of Rene DescartesFeminist TheoryField Notes from ElsewhereFinding Consciousness in the BrainFingerprints of GodFlesh in the Age of ReasonFolk Psychological NarrativesFolk Psychology Re-AssessedForces of HabitForgivenessForgiveness and LoveForgiveness and RetributionFoucault 2.0Foucault and PhilosophyFoucault NowFoucault, Psychology and the Analytics of PowerFoundational Issues in Human Brain MappingFoundations of Ethical Practice, Research, and Teaching in PsychologyFour Views on Free WillFrank Ramsey (1903-1930)Free WillFree WillFree WillFree WillFree Will and Action ExplanationFree Will and LuckFree Will And Moral ResponsibilityFree Will as an Open Scientific ProblemFree Will, Agency, and Meaning in LifeFree: Why Science Hasn't Disproved Free WillFreedomFreedom and DeterminismFreedom And NeurobiologyFreedom and ResponsibiltyFreedom and ValueFreedom EvolvesFreedom RegainedFreedom vs. InterventionFreedom, Fame, Lying, and BetrayalFreudFreud and the Question of PseudoscienceFreud As PhilosopherFreud's AnswerFreud, the Reluctant PhilosopherFriedrich NietzscheFrom Chance to ChoiceFrom Clinic to ClassroomFrom Complexity to LifeFrom Enlightenment to ReceptivityFrom Knowledge to Wisdom: A Revolution for Science and the HumanitiesFrom Morality to Mental HealthFrom Passions to EmotionsFrom Philosophy to PsychotherapyFrontiers of ConsciousnessFrontiers of JusticeFurnishing the MindGalileo in PittsburghGenderGender and Mental HealthGender in the MirrorGender TroubleGenesGenes, Women, EqualityGenetic Nature/CultureGenetic ProspectsGenetic ProspectsGenetic SecretsGenocide's AftermathGenomes and What to Make of ThemGerman Idealism and the JewGerman PhilosophyGetting HookedGilles DeleuzeGlobal PhilosophyGluttonyGod and Phenomenal ConsciousnessGoffman's LegacyGoing Amiss in Experimental ResearchGoodness & AdviceGrassroots SpiritualityGrave MattersGrave MattersGreedGreek Models of Mind and SelfGut ReactionsHabilitation, Health, and AgencyHabits of MindHallucinationHandbook of BioethicsHandbook of EmotionsHappinessHappinessHappinessHappinessHappiness and EducationHappiness and the Good LifeHappiness Is OverratedHappiness, Death, and the Remainder of LifeHard LuckHarmful ThoughtsHaving the World in ViewHealing PsychiatryHealing the Soul in the Age of the BrainHealth, Illness and DiseaseHealth, Science, and Ordinary LanguageHegelHeidegger and a Metaphysics of FeelingHeidegger, Metaphysics and the Univocity of BeingHermann von Helmholtz's MechanismHermeneutics As PoliticsHeterophobiaHeterosyncraciesHeuristics and BiasesHeuristics and the LawHidden ResourcesHidden SelvesHiding from HumanityHigh Art LiteHistorical OntologyHistory of Psychiatry and Medical PsychologyHistory, Historicity And ScienceHobbesHomosexualitiesHope and Dread in PsychoanalysisHot ThoughtHow Can I Be Trusted?How Can the Human Mind Occur in the Physical Universe?How Children Learn the Meanings of WordsHow Could Conscious Experiences Affect Brains?How Do We Know Who We Are?How Emotions WorkHow Emotions WorkHow History Made the MindHow Images ThinkHow is Nature Possible?How Propaganda WorksHow Science WorksHow Scientific Practices MatterHow Scientists Explain DiseaseHow The Body Shapes The MindHow the Body Shapes the Way We ThinkHow the Mind Explains BehaviorHow the Mind Uses the BrainHow to Make Opportunity EqualHow to Solve the Mind-Body Problemhow to stop timeHow to Think More About SexHow We HopeHow We ReasonHuman CloningHuman Development, Language and the Future of MankindHuman EnhancementHuman Evolution, Reproduction, and MoralityHuman GoodnessHuman Identity and BioethicsHuman NatureHuman NatureHuman Nature and the Limits of ScienceHuman-Built WorldHumanismHumanism, What's That?HumanityHumans, Animals, MachinesHumeHumeHume on Motivation and VirtueHusserlHystoriesI of the VortexI Was WrongIdeas that MatterIdentifying the MindIdentity and Agency in Cultural WorldsIgnorance and ImaginationIllnessImagination and Its PathologiesImagination and the Meaningful BrainImagining NumbersImmortal RemainsImproving Nature?In Defense of an Evolutionary Concept of HealthIn Defense of SentimentalityIn Love With LifeIn Praise of Athletic BeautyIn Praise of the WhipIn Pursuit of HappinessIn Search of HappinessIn the Name of GodIn the Name of IdentityIn the Space of ReasonsIn Two MindsIncompatibilism's AllureIndividual Differences in Conscious ExperienceInfinity and PerspectiveInformation ArtsInformed Consent in Medical ResearchIngmar Bergman, Cinematic PhilosopherInhuman ThoughtsInner PresenceInsanityIntegrating Psychotherapy and PharmacotherapyIntegrity and the Fragile SelfIntelligent VirtueIntentionIntentionality, Deliberation and AutonomyIntentions and IntentionalityIntentions and IntentionalityInterpreting MindsInterpreting NietzscheIntroducing Greek PhilosophyIntrospection and ConsciousnessIntrospection VindicatedIntuition, Imagination, and Philosophical MethodologyIntuitionismInvestigating the Psychological WorldIrrationalityIrrationalityIs Academic Feminism Dead?Is It Me or My Meds?Is Long-Term Therapy Unethical?Is Oedipus Online?Is Science Neurotic?Is Science Value Free?Is the Visual World a Grand Illusion?Is There a Duty to Die?Issues in Philosophical CounselingJacques LacanJacques RancièreJacques RanciereJean-Paul SartreJohn McDowellJohn SearleJohn Searle's Ideas About Social RealityJohn Stuart MillJohn Stuart Mill and the Writing of CharacterJoint AttentionJokesJonathan EdwardsJudging and UnderstandingJustice for ChildrenJustice in RobesJustice, Luck, and KnowledgeKantKant and MiltonKant and the Fate of AutonomyKant and the Limits of AutonomyKant and the Role of Pleasure in Moral ActionKant on Freedom, Law, and HappinessKant on Moral AutonomyKant's Anatomy of EvilKant's Anatomy of the Intelligent MindKant's Theory of VirtueKarl JaspersKarl PopperKey Concepts in PhilosophyKierkegaardKierkegaard as PhenomenologistKierkegaard's Concept of DespairKinds of MindsKinds, Things, and StuffKnowing, Knowledge and BeliefsKnowledge MonopoliesKnowledge, Belief, and CharacterKnowledge, Possibility, and ConsciousnessLacanLack of CharacterLack of CharacterLanguageLanguage in ContextLanguage, Consciousness, CultureLanguage, Culture, and MindLanguage, Vision, and MusicLaw and the BrainLaw, Liberty, and PsychiatryLaws, Mind, and Free WillLeaving YouLectures on the History of Political PhilosophyLevelling the Playing FieldLiberal Education in a Knowledge SocietyLiberatory PsychiatryLife and ActionLife at the Texas State Lunatic Asylum, 1857-1997Life Is Not a Game of PerfectLife of the MindLife's FormLife, Death, & MeaningLife, Death, and Meaning: Key Philosophical Readings on the Big Questions Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of UtilityLife, Sex, and IdeasLight in the Dark RoomLike a Splinter in Your MindLiving and Dying WellLiving NarrativeLiving Outside Mental IllnessLiving with DarwinLiving With One’s PastLockeLocke LockeLogic and the Art of Memory Loneliness in Philosophy, Psychology, and LiteratureLooking for SpinozaLooking for The StrangerLost SoulsLOT 2LoveLoveLove's ConfusionsLove's VisionLove, Friendship, and the SelfLove, Sex & TragedyLuckyLudwig WittgensteinLustLyingMachine ConsciousnessMad for FoucaultMad TravelersMade with WordsMadness And Death In PhilosophyMadness and DemocracyMadness at HomeMadness Is CivilizationMaking Natural KnowledgeMaking Sense of EvolutionMaking Sense of Freedom and ResponsibilityMaking the DSM-5Making the Social WorldMaking TruthMale Female EmailMan, Beast, and ZombieMandated Reporting of Suspected Child AbuseManiaManic Depression and CreativityMapping the Edges and the In-betweenMapping the Future of BiologyMarcus AureliusMaster PassionsMatters of the MindMe++Meaning and Moral OrderMeaning and Value in a Secular AgeMeaning in LifeMeaning in Life and Why It MattersMeaning, Basic Self-Knowledge, and MindMeasuring HappinessMeasuring PsychopathologyMedia MadnessMedical Enhancement and PosthumanityMedicine and Philosophy in Classical AntiquityMedicine of the PersonMedicine, Mental Health, Religion, Science and Well-BeingMelancholy And the Care of the SoulMelancholy and the Otherness of GodMementoMemory and NarrativeMental ActionsMental CausationMental Causation and OntologyMental HealthMental Health At The CrossroadsMental Health Policy in BritainMerit, Meaning, and Human BondageMerleau-PontyMerleau-Ponty and the Possibilities of PhilosophyMetacognition and Theory of MindMetacreationMetaethical SubjectivismMetaethicsMetal and FleshMetaphors of MemoryMetapoliticsMethods in MindMichel FoucaultMill's UtilitarianismMindMindMind and ConsciousnessMind and CosmosMind and MechanismMind GamesMind in a Physical WorldMind in Everyday Life and Cognitive ScienceMind in LifeMind TimeMind's LandscapeMind, Brain and the Elusive SoulMind, Brain, and Free WillMind, Reason and ImaginationMinding MindsMindreadersMindreading AnimalsMinds and PersonsMinds, Brains, and LawMinds, Ethics, and ConditionalsMindshapingMindsightMindworldsMirror, MirrorMixed FeelingsMockingbird YearsModels of the SelfModern Social ImaginariesModern Theories of JusticeModernity and SubjectivityModernity and TechnologyMoody Minds DistemperedMoral BrainsMoral DimensionsMoral FailureMoral ImaginationMoral LiteracyMoral MachinesMoral ParticularismMoral PsychologyMoral Psychology and Human AgencyMoral Psychology, Volume 1Moral Psychology, Volume 2Moral Psychology, Volume 3Moral Psychology: Volume IVMoral RepairMoral Responsibility and Alternative PossibilitiesMoral TribesMoral Value and Human DiversityMorality and Self-InterestMorality in a Natural WorldMorality, Moral Luck and ResponsibilityMotherhoodMotive and RightnessMoving Beyond Prozac, DSM, and the New PsychiatryMultiple Analogies in Science and PhilosophyMultiple Identities & False MemoriesMusic, Madness, and the Unworking of LanguageMy Brain Made Me Do ItMy Double UnveiledMy WayNarrativeNarrative and IdentityNarrative MedicineNarrative PsychiatryNarrative Theory and the Cognitive SciencesNatural Ethical FactsNatural Kinds and Conceptual ChangeNatural MindsNatural-Born CybogsNaturalism and the First-Person PerspectiveNaturalism and the Human ConditionNaturalism in the Philosophy of HealthNaturalism in the Philosophy of HealthNaturalized BioethicsNaturalizing the MindNatureNature and NarrativeNear Death ExperienceNeither Bad nor MadNeither Victim nor SurvivorNeuro-Philosophy and the Healthy MindNeuroethicsNeuroethicsNeurological Foundations of Cognitive Neuroscience Neurophilosophy at WorkNeurophilosophy of Free WillNeuropoliticsNeuropsychoanalysis in PracticeNeuroscience and PhilosophyNew Essays on the Explanation of ActionNew Philosophy for a New MediaNew Versions of VictimsNew Waves in Philosophy of ActionNietzscheNietzsche and Buddhist PhilosophyNietzsche on Ethics and PoliticsNietzsche's TherapyNietzsche, Culture and EducationNietzsche: The Man and His PhilosophyNihil UnboundNoir AnxietyNormative EthicsNormativityNorms of NatureNotebooks 1951-1959Notes Toward a Performative Theory of AssemblyNothing So AbsurdOblivionOn AnxietyOn ApologyOn Being AuthenticOn Being AuthenticOn BeliefOn BetrayalOn BullshitOn DelusionOn DesireOn EmotionsOn HashishOn Human RightsOn Loving Our EnemiesOn Nature and LanguageOn PersonalityOn ReflectionOn Romantic LoveOn the EmotionsOn the Freud WatchOn the Government of the LivingOn the Human ConditionOn the InternetOn the Meaning of LifeOn the Philosophy of LawOn the Pragmatics of CommunicationOn the Punitive SocietyOn TruthOn Virtue EthicsOn What MattersOn What We Owe to Each OtherOne Hundred DaysOnflowOnly a Promise of HappinessOntology of ConsciousnessOpen MindedOpen Your EyesOrgans without BodiesOther MindsOur Last Great IllusionOur Own MindsOur Posthuman FutureOur StoriesOut of Its MindOut of Our HeadsOxford Guide to the MindOxford Handbook of Psychiatric EthicsOxford Textbook of Philosophy of PsychiatryPanic DisorderPanpsychism in the WestPartialityPassionate EnginesPassionate EnginesPathologies of BeliefPathologies of ReasonPatient Autonomy and the Ethics of ResponsibilityPC, M.D.Perceiving the WorldPerception & CognitionPerception and Basic BeliefsPerception, Hallucination, and IllusionPerceptual ExperiencePerfecting VirtuePerplexities of ConsciousnessPersistencePersonal AutonomyPersonal Autonomy in SocietyPersonal IdentityPersonal Identity and EthicsPersonal Identity and Fractured SelvesPersonhood and Health CarePersonsPersons and BodiesPersons, Humanity, and the Definition of DeathPersons, Souls and DeathPerspectives on ImitationPerspectives on PragmatismPessimismPhenomenal Concepts and Phenomenal KnowledgePhenomenal ConsciousnessPhenomenal IntentionalityPhenomenology and ExistentialismPhenomenology and Philosophy of MindPhilosophersPhilosophers on MusicPhilosophers without GodsPhilosophical CounselingPhilosophical Counselling and the UnconsciousPhilosophical DevicesPhilosophical Foundations of NeurosciencePhilosophical History and the Problem of ConsciousnessPhilosophical Issues in PsychiatryPhilosophical Issues in PsychiatryPhilosophical Issues in Psychiatry IIPhilosophical MethodologyPhilosophical MidwiferyPhilosophical Myths of the FallPhilosophical Perspectives on DepictionPhilosophical Perspectives on Technology and PsychiatryPhilosophical PracticePhilosophical Reflections on DisabilityPhilosophizing About Sex Philosophizing the EverydayPhilosophy and HappinessPhilosophy and LivingPhilosophy and PsychiatryPhilosophy and PsychotherapyPhilosophy and Science FictionPhilosophy and the EmotionsPhilosophy and the EmotionsPhilosophy and the Interpretation of Pop CulturePhilosophy and the Moving ImagePhilosophy and the NeurosciencesPhilosophy and This Actual WorldPhilosophy As FictionPhilosophy BitesPhilosophy Bites BackPhilosophy for Counselling and PsychotherapyPhilosophy for LifePhilosophy in a New CenturyPhilosophy in an Age of SciencePhilosophy in Children's LiteraturePhilosophy of ActionPhilosophy of ActionPhilosophy of BiologyPhilosophy of BiologyPhilosophy of BiologyPhilosophy of BiologyPhilosophy of BodyPhilosophy of Film and Motion PicturesPhilosophy of LovePhilosophy of Love, Sex, and MarriagePhilosophy of MindPhilosophy of Mind and CognitionPhilosophy of Personal Identity and Multiple PersonalityPhilosophy of PsychologyPhilosophy of Public HealthPhilosophy of SciencePhilosophy of SciencePhilosophy of Technology: The Technological ConditionPhilosophy of the Social SciencesPhilosophy on TapPhilosophy PracticePhilosophy the Day after TomorrowPhilosophy's Role in Counseling and PsychotherapyPhilosophy, Neuroscience and ConsciousnessPhilosophy, Politics, DemocracyPhotography and PhilosophyPhysical RealizationPhysicalism and Its DiscontentsPhysicalism and Mental CausationPhysicalism, or Something Near EnoughPhysician-Assisted DyingPillar of SaltPin-up GrrrlsPlatoPlatoPlato, Not Prozac!Platonic Ethics, Old and NewPluralistic CasuistryPolarities of ExperiencesPolitical EmotionsPopper, Objectivity and the Growth of KnowledgePornPorn StudiesPornography, Sex, and FeminismPortrait of the Psychiatrist as a Young ManPostcolonial DisordersPostpsychiatryPosttraumatic Stress DisorderPower and the SelfPower SplitPractical Autonomy and BioethicsPractical ConflictsPractical Identity and Narrative AgencyPractical PhilosophyPractical RulesPractical Tortoise RaisingPractically ProfoundPracticing Feminist Ethics in PsychologyPragmatic BioethicsPragmatismPragmatism, Old And NewPraise and BlamePredicative MindsPreferences and Well-BeingPrescriptions for the MindPresocraticsPrimary and Secondary QualitiesPrimates and PhilosophersPrivacyPrivileged AccessProblems in MindProblems of RationalityProzac As a Way of LifeProzac BacklashProzac on the CouchPsyche and SomaPsychiatric Aspects of Justification, Excuse and Mitigation in Anglo-American Criminal Law Psychiatric Cultures ComparedPsychiatric Diagnosis and ClassificationPsychiatric EthicsPsychiatric HegemonyPsychiatric PowerPsychiatric SlaveryPsychiatry and Philosophy of SciencePsychiatry and ReligionPsychiatry as a Human SciencePsychiatry as Cognitive NeurosciencePsychiatry in SocietyPsychiatry in the New MilleniumPsychiatry in the Scientific ImagePsychiatry, Psychoanalysis, And The New Biology Of MindPsycho-Physical Dualism TodayPsychoanalysis and Narrative MedicinePsychoanalysis and the Philosophy of SciencePsychological Concepts and Biological PsychiatryPsychology and PhilosophyPsychology and the Question of AgencyPsychology's Interpretive TurnPsychology, Psychotherapy, Psychoanalysis, and the Politics of Human RelationshipsPsychotherapy and ConfidentialityPsychotherapy As PraxisPublic PhilosophyPunishmentPure ImmanencePurple HazePursuing MeaningQuality of Life and Human DifferenceQueer PhilosophyQuestions for FreudQuestions for FreudQuine and Davidson on Language, Thought and RealityRaceRace in Contemporary MedicineRadiant CoolRadical AlterityRadical ExternalismRadical HopeRational and Social AgencyRational CausationRational Choice in an Uncertain WorldRationality + Consciousness = Free WillRationality and FreedomRationality and the Reflective MindRationality in ActionRawls, Dewey, and ConstructivismRe-creating MedicineRe-EmergenceRe-Engineering Philosophy for Limited BeingsReading AutobiographyReading Bernard WilliamsReading SartreReadings in the Philosophy of TechnologyReal MaterialismReal Natures and Familiar ObjectsReal ScienceRealism in ActionReason & EmancipationReason in ActionReason in PhilosophyReason's GriefReasonably ViciousReasoning About Rational AgentsReasoning in Biological DiscoveriesReasons from WithinReasons without RationalismReclaiming CognitionReclaiming the SoulReconceiving SchizophreniaReconstructing Reason and RepresentationReconstructing the Cognitive WorldRecreative MindsRediscovering EmotionRediscovering EmpathyReference and ExistenceReference and the Rational MindReflections On How We LiveReframing Disease ContextuallyRefusing CareRegulating SexReinventing the SoulRelativism and Human RightsRelativism and the Foundations of PhilosophyRelativism and the Foundations of PhilosophyReliable ReasoningReligion without GodRelying on OthersRemembering HomeResponsibility and PunishmentResponsibility and PunishmentResponsibility from the MarginsRestraining RageRethinking ExpertiseRethinking IntrospectionRethinking Mental Health and DisorderRethinking RapeRethinking the DSMRethinking the Sociology of Mental HealthRethinking the Western Understanding of the SelfReturn to ReasonRevolt, She SaidRichard RortyRichard RortyRichard RortyRichard RortyRichard RortyRichard Rorty's New PragmatismRightsRights, Democracy, and Fulfillment in the Era of Identity PoliticsRise And Fall of Soul And SelfRitalin NationRobert NozickRousseauRousseau and the Dilemmas of Modernity Routledge Philosophy Guidebook to Derrida on DeconstructionRules, Reason, and Self-KnowledgeSaints, Scholars, and Schizophrenics: Mental Illness in Rural IrelandSartreSartreSartreSartre in Search of an EthicsSatisficing and MaximizingSaving GodScandalous KnowledgeSchizophreniaSchizophrenia and the Fate of the SelfSchizophrenia: A Scientific Delusion?SchopenhauerSchopenhauer's TelescopeScienceScience and EthicsScience and Pseudoscience in Clinical PsychologyScience and SpiritualityScience and the Pursuit of WisdomScience Fiction and PhilosophyScience Fiction and PhilosophyScience in Civil SocietyScience in DemocracyScience RulesScience WarsScience, Consciousness and Ultimate RealityScience, Policy, and the Value-Free IdealSciences from BelowScientific EvidenceScientific IrrationalismScientific PerspectivismScientific PluralismScientific Realism and the Rationality of ScienceScratching the Surface of BioethicsSecond NatureSecond OpinionsSecond PhilosophySecrets of the MindSecular Philosophy and the Religious TemperamentSecurity, Territory, PopulationSeeing and VisualizingSeeing DoubleSeeing 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Neuroscience and PhilosophyReview - Neuroscience and Philosophy
Brain, Mind, and Language
by Maxwell Bennett, Peter Hacker, Daniel Dennett, and John Searle
Columbia University Press, 2007
Review by James Sage, Ph.D.
Sep 11th 2007 (Volume 11, Issue 37)

Overview of Neuroscience and Philosophy

Neuroscience and Philosophy is a collection of essays based on a three-hour "Author and Critics" session at the 2005 American Philosophical Association (APA) meeting in New York. The volume is organized as follows: "The Argument" includes various excerpts from Maxwell Bennett and Peter Hacker's Philosophical Foundations of Neuroscience (2003); "The Rebuttals" include new critical essays by both Daniel Dennett and John Searle; and finally "Reply to the Rebuttals" includes a detailed response by Bennett and Hacker to both Dennett and Searle. The volume also includes an Introduction and Conclusion by Daniel Robinson.

As a whole, the volume is immensely readable and accessible to non-specialists (at least most of it; parts get rather technical, but the average intelligent reader will most certainly find this a rewarding read). A comprehensive set of end notes are included which elaborate on points made in the text, provide specific citations to support claims and objections, and also point the reader to a very useful list of additional resources to investigate.

The volume is also a good introduction to some of the main debates in cognitive neuroscience and the philosophy of mind, including the notions of consciousness, qualia, intentionality, and ordinary language philosophy. Finally, I believe that this volume exhibits some of the strengths of interdisciplinary interaction. Philosophical inquiry is enhanced when combined with empirical neuroscience; and empirical neuroscience is enhanced when combined with philosophy. Of course, with interdisciplinary work there is the risk of misunderstanding or "talking past" each other. The organization of the volume as a dialectal exchange allows for such misunderstandings to be minimized, but not entirely removed.

The Argument (Bennett and Hacker)

Following the "ordinary language philosophy" of Oxford in the early 1960s, Bennett and Hacker understand that philosophical inquiry is limited to figuring out what makes sense and what is non-sense. Scientific inquiry, on the other hand, is about figuring out what is true and what is not. Thus, it is the work of philosophy to engage in keen reflection about how we use our terms. What this means is that we must strive for conceptual clarity (what the authors call "logic-chopping") before we can hope to pursue meaningful empirical research.

Bennett and Hacker believe that much of cognitive neuroscience is afflicted with linguistic nonsense. For example, they believe that much of Descartes's misguided dualism appears in modern discussions of neuroscience (replacing the immaterial soul as the seat of thinking with the brain). Bennett and Hacker believe that this is the key bit of non-sense currently plaguing cognitive neuroscience: the misapplication of intentionality to the brain or parts of the brain, or what they call the mereological fallacy. Typical examples of such a fallacy is to say that the brain reasons, decides, or wants. But, according to Bennett and Hacker's ordinary language approach (based on Wittgenstein and Ryle) only whole persons can reason, decide, or want. In short, Bennett and Hacker object that the ascription of "intentional states" (believing that, deciding that, wanting that...) are misplaced when applied to brains or parts of brains. Only whole persons (or sufficiently complex systems -- such as animals) can be the proper recipients of such psychological attributions. Thus, it is not that the sentence, "his brain wants to sort through all the incoming visual information" is false; rather, such a sentence is nonsensical (it is neither true nor false, since the attribution of intentional attitudes to the brain is a misapplication). In this sense, cognitive neuroscience must rid itself of this misleading, nonsensical way of speaking in favor of an ordinary language approach where only whole persons are the subjects of such psychological verbs.

Bennett and Hacker trace this fallacious tendency to several key players in the current debate. As such, they include in their discussion cognitive scientists, philosophers, and psychologists. After documenting how these scholars repeatedly use intentional language in this erroneous, nonsensical way, they survey the possible response routes. After consider each possible route, Bennett and Hacker conclude that in fact the majority of scholars discussing cognitive neuroscience fail to use language (especially language about intentional states) in sensible ways.

Bennett and Hacker draw several conclusions from their study. First, they claim that we cannot hope to study human cognition successfully unless we first get our language right (that is, making sure our linguistic usage avoids nonsensical fallacies. This means, among other things, avoiding the attribution of wants, desires, or thoughts (i.e., any intentional state) to the brain or parts of the brain. Bennett and Hacker insist that such intentional terms are only applicable to whole humans (or organisms suitably like human beings).

They also conclude that "getting our language in good order" will assist us in interpreting our experimental results. Without clarity of language (say, avoiding the mereological fallacy), our interpretation of scientific findings will be skewed. Furthermore, when neuroscientists are formulating new research questions, new experimental designs, and pushing the limits of our knowledge about human cognition, Bennett and Hacker insist that our philosophical and conceptual work must not lead to nonsensical presuppositions. In other words, the future success of cognitive neuroscience depends on clarifying our psychological concepts and avoiding the pitfalls of nonsense.

The Rebuttals (Dennett and Searle)

In his essay, Daniel Dennett agrees that in order to have a successful cognitive neuroscience we must diagnose and reformulate our linguistic presuppositions. For example, Dennett agrees with Bennett and Hacker that much of Cartesian dualism still infects neuroscience (shifting the emphasis from an immaterial soul that thinks to the brain that thinks, or what Dennett calls "Cartesian materialism). Dennett also agrees with the idea that we should appeal to ordinary language to resolve such dilemmas. In fact, Dennett points out that this is the very methodological suggestion that lead him to promote the term "folk psychology" (he also points out that Bennett and Hacker seem to overlook the fact that many of their points were made by Dennett some 30 years prior!). Finally, Dennett also agrees with Bennett and Hacker's rejection of "qualia" as ontologically free-floating bits of consciousness.

But Dennett's agreeable nature stops there. Most of his essay is ruthlessly critical of Bennett and Hacker (focusing his attack of Hacker). For example, one of the key arguments forwarded by Bennett and Hacker is that philosophers and neuroscientists are committing the mereological fallacy (ascribing attributes of wholes to their parts), and they think that Dennett commits this fallacy too. Dennett points out that he helped to develop this very criticism against his philosophical opponents, and does not much appreciate the sloppy research Bennett and Hacker produced that misconstrued three decades of his work.

Dennett goes on to tackle just a few key objections to Bennett and Hacker. First, Dennett questions their assertion that conceptual (philosophical, linguistic) questions are distinct from empirical questions. Dennett believes that there is a clear sense in which answers to philosophical questions are more than just "makes sense" or "doesn't make sense". Dennett believes that answers to such conceptual questions can also be "right" or "wrong". As such, the distinction maintained by Bennett and Hacker does not stand up, especially when we are engaged in what Dennett calls "naïve anthropology" (the empirical study of language). So, for example, what happens when we have a disagreement about what "makes sense"? Apparently Bennett and Hacker assume that their own native linguistic capacity is all that they need to cite in order to resolve such conflicts (appealing, as it were, to some set of "grammatical rules" that will decide which usage is sensical and which is nonsensical).

However, Dennett points out that there is no set rules for proper usage, and that when we are engaged in linguistic research, we are engaged in empirical research (not mere "logic chopping"). In short, we have no reason to privilege our own usage of language as THE correct usage. After all, we may be perverse and peculiar in what we take to be sensical, or else those with whom we disagree might be speaking a different language (i.e., a case of indeterminacy of translation). In this way, following Quine's naturalism, Dennett objects to Bennett and Hacker, insisting that there is a keen interplay between philosophy and science.

Dennett also includes a number of additional objections, including the value of empirical discoveries about the brain and the nervous system. He points out that it is an empirical discovery that our brains are engaged in processes that allow us to be conscious, to think, to feel, and to act. Moreover, it is an empirical discovery that brains, or parts of our brains, engage in processes very similar to intentional states, such as guessing, tracking, sorting, and deciding. In fact, Dennett points out that this very discovery is what lead him to develop his account of the "intentional stance". For Dennett, the intentional stance is a kind of ordinary (folk psychological) language applied to complex systems. The brain is a complex system, whose operations can be captured in meaningful ways by speaking as if intentional states applied. What Bennett and Hacker take to be "conceptual blunders" are widespread among philosophers and neuroscientists, and such "blunders" have been responsible for offering sophisticated new explanation for how human cognition occurs. In short, Dennett finds it laughable that they suggest neuroscientists give up this way of speaking, even though it has been so fruitful! (Dennett points out that the intentional stance is much more widespread than Bennett and Hacker realize: computer programmers, electrical engineers, and physicists all speak in intentional terms when discussing computers looking for the printer, thermostats realizing that it is too cold, or falling objects trying to reach a resting point.) While such widespread use of intentional language has been largely metaphorical, Dennett denies that such metaphors are devastating to empirical research. To the contrary, such metaphors are responsible for developing new (and better) explanations of complex phenomena, for promoting innovating research, and for developing comprehensive revolutions in empirical science.

Dennett concludes that Bennett and Hacker's book misses the mark. They offer a single line of attack (the mereological fallacy) that completely fails under close scrutiny. The so-called conceptual confusion Bennett and Hacker discuss is productive and helpful. While Bennett and Hacker offer no positive theories or models, if taken seriously their proposal also undermines our ability to offer rich and meaningful explanations of cognitive neuroscience.

John Searle's rebuttal is delightfully written, witty, and very pointed. His remarks are well organized and document several key objections that are devastating to Bennett and Hacker. Like Dennett, Searle begins with a few (brief) remarks regarding points of agreement. Very quickly, however, we see Searle launch his attack and make short work of Bennett and Hacker.

First, on a technical note, Searle points out that what Bennett and Hacker call the "mereological fallacy" is really what Ryle called a "category mistake". But then Searle goes on to remark that the category mistake they accuse most of the neuroscience community of making is disastrous. In fact, Searle develops a very nice line of argument against Bennett and Hacker, accusing them of committing the following fallacy: in their attempt to rid cognitive neuroscience of misguided and confusion linguistic usage, Bennett and Hacker fail to distinguish criteria for ascribing mental states from criteria for actually having mental states. Arguing that brains are the inappropriate subjects of mental states does not lead to the view that brains are in now way the locus on such psychological processes. In this sense, Bennett and Hacker are unable to distinguish the idea that while brains are not themselves literally deciding things (like deciding what to have for lunch, or which rose is white and which rose is red), the brain most certainly plays a role in such decisions. While the brain may not be the appropriate subject for such psychological verbs, it is misleading to think that the brain plays no role at all in psychology. Searle writes: "The fallacy, in short, is one of confusing the rules for using the words with the ontology. Just as old-time behaviorism confused the evidence for mental states with the ontology of the mental states, so this [strategy used by Bennett and Hacker] construes the grounds for making the attribution with the fact that is attributed. It is a fallacy to say that the conditions for success operation of the language game are conditions for the existence of the phenomena in question [i.e., consciousness]" p. 105).

Searle wraps up his critical essay with a few remarks about the appropriate relationship between philosophy and science. For example, he notes that while most philosophical problems are not solved by empirical research, there are at least some that are. Bennett and Hacker assume that such a distinction is possible, and valuable. However, Searle admits that he is unable to make a "really sharp, precise distinction... between empirical questions and conceptual questions" (p. 123). In this way, Searle aligns himself with Dennett and Quine and other naturalists who find there to be a continuity between science and philosophy.

Reply to the Rebuttals (Bennett and Hacker)

In their reply to Dennett and Searle, Bennett and Hacker maintain their position that conceptual (philosophical) questions and issues are completely distinct from empirical questions and issues. They offer a few examples, but do not offer a convincing reply to Dennett or Searle. They simply re-state their original assertion with new examples.

Bennett and Hacker also maintain their original use of the term "mereological" and insist that their original charge stands (that most of the philosophical and neuroscientific community is engaged in nonsensical, fallacious ascriptions of psychological states to brains and/or brain processes). Bennett and Hacker maintain that it is an error -- a conceptual error, not a factual error -- to ascribe psychological states (intentional states, consciousness, etc.) to the brain or parts of the brain. Despite Dennett's objections, Bennett and Hacker maintain that it just doesn't make any sense to ascribe psychological states to anything other than whole human persons.

Earlier in the volume, Searle objects to this suggestion by pointing out that Bennett and Hacker do not provide a positive account of personhood. What, exactly, do they mean by a person? Despite providing no such account in their original work, Bennett and Hacker suggest that talking of persons and attributing psychological states to persons makes perfect sense. While they appeal to Locke's notion of "person" as a forensic term (p. 134), they do not elaborate with many more details. Instead, what they provide is a re-hashing of Searle's extremely clear summary of Bennett and Hacker's reliance on Wittgenstein (oddly enough, Searle's explanation of what they are doing is far more coherent than the explanation provided by Bennett and Hacker!). What Bennett and Hacker's approach amounts to is that a "person" is, roughly speaking, a human being whose bodily actions are observable. Thus, we can say that a person is thinking X when they display various behaviors. Because the brain does not display behaviors that allow us to ascribe "believes that X" we cannot ascribe beliefs to the brain. This, of course, is roundly criticized by Searle (the difference between evidence for ascribing psychological states vs. actually having such psychological states), but Bennett and Hacker fail to address the main thrust of Searle's objection.

However, Bennett and Hacker agree with Searle that there is a distinction between (a) what criteria we should use to ascribe psychological states (and that these criteria are behavioral), and (b) what neurological processes or pathways or regions are involved in various psychological states (i.e., the "locus" of activity within the brain when a person is thinking). While they acknowledge this distinction, they insist that (a) points to whole persons and their observable behaviors as the proper subjects of conscious states, but (b) points to the idea that brains are merely implicated in a person's thinking (that brains are not thinking; and it's not that brains fail to think; they just aren't the right kinds of things to which thinking or not thinking apply).

At this point, the reader might begin to doubt that these scholars are really talking to each other, as opposed to talking past each other. There seems to be a lot of repeating (especially on the part of Bennett and Hacker) which fails to engage the other scholars. More on this below.

Next, Bennett and Hacker turn to Dennett's intentional stance, attempting to turn the tables on Dennett. In this criticism, Dennett suggested that his intentional stance enabled neuroscientific researchers to push their understanding further, and to provide meaningful and testable explanations. He also claimed that Bennett and Hacker's proposal would cripple neuroscientific research. They write, "No well-confirmed empirical theory in neuroscience has emerged from Dennett's explanations, for ascribing 'sort of psychological properties' to parts of the brain does not explain anything... Not only does it not explain, it generates further incoherence" (pp. 140-141). Who is right? Again, we shall return to that below.

Finally, Bennett and Hacker round out their reply by re-articulating their behavioral orientation, for it seems that they want to affirm the existence of "persons" as subjects of psychological properties, and rely on (whole) bodily behavior as the "data" for ascribing such properties, while eliminating everything else (qualia, private (non-public) mental states, etc.) except plainly-described neurological events (stripped, of course, of any talk of intentionality). How do the propose to support this view? Well, their support is rather laughable. Earlier, Searle draws a parallel with cognition by considering digestion (another physiological process studied by science). Bennett and Hacker take Searle's idea and maintain that "his stomach is digesting food" makes perfect sense (attributing the verb "is digesting" to a person's stomach is appropriate), but that it is inappropriate to say "his brain is thinking". Why? Because we can open up a person's stomach see the food being digested. Presumably, if we open up a person's skull, we won't see thinking happening. Rather, we see thinking happening, on Bennett and Hacker's account, by observing whole persons (specifically, we observe their bodily actions).

Now, this seems a little odd to use the "let's cut it open and look with our naked eye" methodology as a way of solving a conceptual debate. As a line of support for the conceptual clarity of ascribing digestion to the stomach and denying the conceptual coherence of ascribing thinking to the brain, this is not an impressive move.

It is true that when a person is thinking, we would not be able to open her skull and view her brain engaged in "thinking". But this misses the whole point: the aim of empirical cognitive neuroscience is to give us answers to exactly this sort of question (what happens in one's body when one is engaged in thinking?). Before it was discovered that the heart pumps blood, the very idea would have been dismissed by Bennett and Hacker as a bit of conceptual incoherence. The heart, after all, is not involved with circulating blood (only the whole human body does that). And besides, everyone already knows that the heart is the seat of emotions, love, sympathy, and sadness. In ordinary language, when we are suffering an emotional trauma, we call it "heart ache".

Just as it would have seemed preposterous to suggest that the heart pumps blood, it now seems preposterous to Bennett and Hacker that the brain could be conscious or could be engaged in thinking. But empirical research sometimes reveals that our linguistic presuppositions are limiting our understanding. The whole point of empirical cognitive neuroscience is to help us to understand processes that may be hard to see with the naked eye. Some complex processes are distributed across space (that is, across the span of the brain or across the span of the nervous system). In much the same way as the operation of the immune system is distributed across space, cognition is not easily viewed with the naked eye. It is up to science to help reveal parts of the world to us, and for us to respond by developing new and innovative ways of discussing the phenomena discovered.

I take it that this is precisely Dennett's view: sometimes empirical research enables us to use new linguistic conventions to capture our new understanding of the world. Bennett and Hacker seem to think that science must rely on conceptual analysis to sort out all the details in advance. Dennett's naturalism maintains that there is a reciprocity between the empirical and the conceptual. Sometimes that involves adopting the intentional stance with respect to neurological processes. Yet, Bennett and Hacker would insist that such a move undermines our ability to engage in meaningful cognitive neuroscientific research.

Thus, on one side, we have Bennett and Hacker accusing many (most?) philosophers and neuroscientists of committing what they call the mereological fallacy. They maintain that most people are engaged a fallacious ascription of psychological properties to parts of human persons (and that this undermines neuroscientific research). They believe that metaphorical usage corrupts and confuses our understanding. Their aim is to "peel away conceptual confusion" and to clarify conceptual presuppositions (p. 162).

On the other hand, we have philosophers like Searle and Dennett arguing that Bennett and Hacker's proposal would actually restrict us from speaking in otherwise very ordinary ways (including the ascription of psychological properties to parts of human persons, such as their brains). Searle and Dennett (while fierce critics of each other's work) agree that Bennett and Hacker's view would undermine neuroscientific research by placing unnecessary restrictions on the use of the intentional stance.

While this volume of essays does not provide a final answer to this riddle, important aspects of the disagreement are elucidated clearly. That is perhaps all a single volume could hope for: to better frame the debate, to clarify points of agreement and disagreement, and to lay the groundwork for further discussion. This volume does all of this in a very readable and accessible way.

© 2007 James Sage

James Sage, Ph.D., Department of Philosophy, University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point


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