Philosophy of Neuroscience

Edited by Robert Foley (University of Western Ontario)
Assistant editor: Michelle Thomas (University of Western Ontario)
About this topic
Summary The philosophy of neuroscience includes applications of neuroscience to philosophical problems as well as philosophical investigations of neuroscience. The application of neuroscience to philosophical problems (such as problems in philosophy of mind) is sometimes referred to as "neurophilosophy". The philosophical investigation of neuroscience is a sub-discipline of the philosophy of science.
Key works See the pioneering Churchland 1986 for an early overview of key themes in philosophy of neuroscience. Anthologies of note include Bickle 2009 and Bechtel et al 2001.
Introductions For a concise introductory overview, see Bickle et al 2006. See also Brook & Mandik 2007 and Bechtel et al 2001.
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  1. Invisible others : a dialogue between Axel Honneth's Struggle for Recognition and the Neurodiversity movement.Aurélia Peyrical - unknown
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  2. Bistable Pathways into the Liminality of Metamorphosis Imaginaries in the Atlas Mountains. Notes in Neurocognitive Anthropology.Fabio Armand - 2024 - Iris 44.
    Moving from the structure of rites of passage, since Arnold Van Gennep’s renowned work (1909), to the essence of liminality captured by Victor Turner (1967), I propose a neurocognitive anthropological approach dealing with the bistable liminality found in human narrative imaginaries. In a brain-culture nexus, I will examine the liminal phase of the rites of passage by drawing on the enactive cognitive bistability property of the human brain. Recalling that the fundamental property of bistable systems is the alternation of two (...)
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  3. Bishop, Jeffrey P., M. Therese Lysaught, and Andrew A. Michel. Biopolitics after Neuroscience: Morality and the Economy of Virtue. London: Bloomsbury Publishing, 2022. 288pp. $115.00 (cloth); $39.95 (paper). ISBN 9781350288447. [REVIEW]John Han - forthcoming - Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics:1-6.
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  4. La construcción simbólica que los estudiantes en la carrera de docencia tienen sobre la neuropedagogía en su formación profesional.Orlando Terre Camacho & Marco Antonio Gamboa Robles - 2024 - Voces de la Educación 9 (17):169-193.
    La perspectiva que estudiantes de docencia tienen sobre las disciplinas inherentes a la educación y en el logro del perfil de egreso, es multifacética; hay quienes conciben con mayor peso la psicología, didáctica y filosofía, otros incluyen sociología y antropología, pero pocos incluyen la neuropedagogía; por lo que dicha visión poco incide en decisiones para emocionar el cerebro para aprender.
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  5. Neurobiology of the Milgram Obedience Experiment.Kudret Eren Yavuz & Sultan Tarlacı - 2023 - Journal of Neurophilosophy 2 (2).
    This manuscript presents a comprehensive review of the neurobiology underlying the Milgram Obedience Experiment, a cornerstone in understanding human behavior under authority. Beginning with an examination of traumatic historical events, particularly the Holocaust, the manuscript delves into the psychological underpinnings of obedience. It discusses how individuals, like Adolf Eichmann, rationalized their actions as mere adherence to orders, a phenomenon later empirically studied by Stanley Milgram. Milgram's experiments, conducted at Yale University, demonstrated a startling willingness among ordinary people to inflict harm (...)
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  6. Seeking the Neural Correlates of Awakening.Julien Tempone-Wiltshire - 2024 - Journal of Consciousness Studies 31 (1):173-203.
    Contemplative scholarship has recently reoriented attention towards the neuroscientific study of the soteriological ambition of Buddhist practice, 'awakening'. This article evaluates the project of seeking neural correlates for awakening. Key definitional and operational issues are identified demonstrating that: the nature of awakening is highly contested both within and across Buddhist traditions; the meaning of awakening is both context- and concept-dependent; and awakening may be non-conceptual and ineffable. It is demonstrated that operationalized secular conceptions of awakening, divorced from soteriological and cultural (...)
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  7. The Role of Neuroprediction and Artificial Intelligence in the Future of Criminal Procedure Support Science: A New Era in Neuroscience and Criminal Justice.Zico Junius Fernando, Rosmanila, Laily Ratna, Achmad Cholidin & Bhanu Prakash Nunna - 2023 - Yuridika 38 (3):593-620.
    Recent developments in the field of neuroimaging in the world of neuroscience, when combined with artificial intelligence and, more specifically, with the use of mechanical engineering, have resulted in the creation of brain reading technology that may soon be widely used in scientific fields in the world including detecting, for example, criminal lies. When used in forensic psychiatry, this approach can increase the precision of risk assessment and help determine areas where intervention can be most effective. Neuro prediction with artificial (...)
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  8. The Gift of Desire: The “inner voice” between Neuroscience and Theory of Attachment.Anna Daniela Savino - 2023 - Elementa 3 (1-2):105-121.
    What is profoundly under question, especially today, in the aftermath of the pandemic, is on one hand the phenomenon of desire, on the other hand the experience and capability of desiring of the human being. Taking a look at the social situation of the country – recalling first the investigation of the 44th Censis Report 2010, the contents of which in some ways are re-proposed in a naturally volved way in the following one of 2020 –, we are given an (...)
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  9. Affective neuroscience theory and attitudes towards artificial intelligence.Christian Montag, Raian Ali & Kenneth L. Davis - forthcoming - AI and Society:1-8.
    Artificial intelligence represents a key technology being inbuilt into evermore products. Research investigating attitudes towards artificial intelligence surprisingly is still scarce, although it becomes apparent that artificial intelligence will shape societies around the globe. To better understand individual differences in attitudes towards artificial intelligence, the present study investigated in n = 351 participants associations between the Affective Neuroscience Personality Scales (ANPS) and the Attitudes towards Artificial Intelligence framework (ATAI). It could be observed that in particular higher levels of SADNESS were (...)
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  10. Philosophy and neuroscience on consciousness – response to Felipe León and Dan Zahavi.Tobias A. Wagner-Altendorf - 2023 - Acta Neurochirurgica 165:3583-3584.
  11. On Neuronationalism: Autism, Immunity, Security.Jack Kahn - 2015 - The New Inquiry 38.
    Data collection regarding the disproportionate representation of autism within the United States population does not imply that there are more autistics in the country, but that the neuroscience of human development is aggressively deployed as a technique of governance. I name this technique: "neuronationalism.".
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  12. Neuropsychoanalysis and Neuroaesthetics: Between the Approximation of Knowledge and the Critique of Biological Reason.Oliveira De Gr - 2023 - Philosophy International Journal 6 (2):1-5.
    Movements, in the last fifty years, have been bringing knowledge closer to the new knowledge coming from the neurosciences. In this brief essay, we intend to analyze neuropsychoanalysis and neuroaesthetics, as promising areas in these terms. Such an analysis will be based on critical theory, conceptualized mainly by Adorno and Horkheimer, especially considering that “On the path to modern science, men renounced meaning and replaced the concept with the formula, the cause with the rule and probability”. Therefore, in relation to (...)
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  13. Neuroscience and Mental Illness.Natalia Washington, Christina Leone & Laura Niemi - 2022 - In Felipe De Brigard (ed.), Neuroscience and Philosophy. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.
    The fast-developing field of neuroscience has given philosophy, as well as other disciplines and the public broadly, many new tools and perspectives for investigating one of our most pressing challenges: addressing the health and well-being of our mental lives. In some cases, neuroscientific innovation has led to clearer understanding of the mechanisms of mental illness and precise new modes of treatment. In other cases, features of neuroscience itself, such as the enticing nature of the data it produces compared to previous (...)
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  14. Causation in Neuroscience: Keeping Mechanism Meaningful.Lauren N. Ross & Dani Bassett - 2024 - Nature Reviews Neuroscience 25:81-90.
    A fundamental goal of research in neuroscience is to uncover the causal structure of the brain. This focus on causation makes sense, because causal information can provide explanations of brain function and identify reliable targets with which to understand cognitive function and prevent or change neurological conditions and psychiatric disorders. In this research, one of the most frequently used causal concepts is ‘mechanism’ — this is seen in the literature and language of the field, in grant and funding inquiries that (...)
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  15. Los caminos compartidos del tacto y el sonido hacia la emoción: Evidencias neurocientíficas actuales.Álvaro García López, María José Lucía Mulas, Belén Ruiz Mezcua & José Manuel Sánchez Pena - 2023 - Arbor 199 (810):a722.
    La característica más representativa de la música es su capacidad de generar emoción. Pero ¿por qué la música emociona? En este artículo mostramos los conocimientos actuales de la teoría musical y la neurociencia que intentan explicar las relaciones que existen entre la música y las emociones. En primer lugar, se repasan los conocimientos actuales sobre el procesamiento de los sonidos musicales a nivel cerebral y las posibles explicaciones del origen de la emoción musical, así como la contribución de los distintos (...)
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  16. Imitation, Mirror Neurons, and Mimetic Desire: Convergence Between the Mimetic Theory of René Girard and Empirical Research on Imitation.Scott R. Garrels - 2005 - Contagion: Journal of Violence, Mimesis, and Culture 12 (1):47-86.
    In lieu of an abstract, here is a brief excerpt of the content:Imitation, Mirror Neurons, and Mimetic Desire:Convergence Between the Mimetic Theory of René Girard and Empirical Research on ImitationScott R. GarrelsIntroductionUntil recently, the pervasive and primordial role of imitation in human life was either largely ignored or misunderstood by empirical researchers. This is no longer the case. It is now clear that investigations on human imitation are among the most profound and revolutionary areas of research contributing to the future (...)
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  17. Behavioral vs. Neural Methods in the Treatment of Acutely Comatose Patients.Hyungrae Noh - 2022 - Ramon Llull Journal of Applied Ethics 1 (13):245-258.
    Behaviorally assessing residual consciousness of acutely comatose patients involves a high rate of false-negatives. That is, long-term behavioral assessment shows that 41% of vegetative state patients in fact have residual consciousness. Nonetheless, surrogates need to remove ventilation before the acute-phase passes away if they want to induce medico-legal death due to pragmatic factors, such as financial costs. So, surrogate decision-making regarding behaviorally nonresponsive acutely comatose patients involves a moral dilemma: should we ignore the chance that patients have residual consciousness for (...)
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  18. Interests and Choices in Determining Death by Neurological Criteria.Mehrunisha Suleman & Aasim I. Padela - 2024 - American Journal of Bioethics 24 (1):118-121.
    Death by neurological criteria (DNC) continues to stir global controversy. Philosophers and theologians contest its moral significance, clinicians and bioscientists debate its probative accuracy, a...
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  19. Medicolegal Challenges to Death by Neurologic Criteria in the United Kingdom and the United States: Lessons Learned from the Case of Archie Battersbee and a Suggestion for Mid-Level Principles to Enhance an Ongoing Dialogue.Erin Paquette - 2024 - American Journal of Bioethics 24 (1):97-100.
    In “An Overview of Ethical Challenges Raised by Medicolegal Challenges to Death by Neurologic Criteria in the United Kingdom and a Comparison to Management of these Challenges in the USA,” Ariane L...
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  20. Ethical Issues in Death by Neurologic Criteria Require Critical Scrutiny: Lack of Engagement with Sound Arguments to Save Medical Dogma.Ari R. Joffe - 2024 - American Journal of Bioethics 24 (1):121-123.
    Ariane Lewis reviewed medicolegal challenges to Death by Neurologic Criteria (DNC) in the United Kingdom in order to identify and discuss the ethical issues raised (Lewis 2024). Here I briefly clar...
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  21. Interpersonal Emotions as Emergent Phenomena: Social Neuroscience Beyond Western Cultural Constructions.Kaitlyn Penchina - unknown
    Because science as it exists today is a cultural construction of the West, studies of neuroscience have often been limited by Western perspectives. In particular, the Western proclivity towards individualism has led to a field of neuroscience which has historically focused on studying single individuals, as opposed to social or collective neuroscience. For the most part, it has just been assumed that collective phenomena such as interpersonal emotions must be able to be reduced in terms of individual phenomena such as (...)
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  22. The methods of Neuroethics.Luca Malatesti & John McMillan - 2024 - Cambridge University Press.
    This Element offers a framework for exploring the methodological challenges of neuroethics. The aim is to provide a roadmap for the methodological assumptions, and related pitfalls, involved in the interdisciplinary investigation of the ethical and legal implications of neuroscientific research and technology. It illustrates these points via the debate about the ethical and legal responsibility of psychopaths. Argument and the conceptual analysis of normative concepts such as 'personhood' or 'human agency' is central to neuroethics. This Element discusses different approaches to (...)
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  23. On the psychologism of neurophenomenology.Jesse Lopes - 2024 - Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences 23 (1):85-104.
    Psychologism is defined as “the doctrine that the laws of mathematics and logic can be reduced to or depend on the laws governing thinking” (Moran & Cohen, 2012 266). And for Husserl, the laws of logic include the laws of meaning: “logic evidently is the science of meanings as such [Wissenschaft von Bedeutungen als solchen]” (Husserl ( 1975 ) 98/2001 225). I argue that, since it is sufficient for a theory to be psychologistic if the empiricistic theory of abstraction is (...)
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  24. Response to Commentaries: Frequent Preservation of Neurologic Function in Brain Death and Brainstem Death Entails False-Positive Misdiagnosis and Cerebral Perfusion.Ari R. Joffe & Michael Nair-Collins - 2024 - American Journal of Bioethics Neuroscience 15 (1).
    We thank the authors of commentaries for their thoughtful discussion of our target article. Here we briefly summarize the points made in the target article (Nair-Collins and Joffe 2023). Then we em...
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  25. On Changes and Opportunities at AJOB Neuroscience.Veljko Dubljevic - 2024 - American Journal of Bioethics Neuroscience 15 (1):1-2.
    As the new Editor-in-Chief (EiC) of the AJOB Neuroscience, I am aware that I have some very large shoes to fill. Paul Root Wolpe, who established the quality of the journal and served in that posit...
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  26. Ralph Adolphs and David Anderson. The Neuroscience of Emotion: A New Synthesis. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2018. 376 pp. [REVIEW]Luiz Pessoa - 2021 - Philosophy, Theology and the Sciences 8 (2):289.
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  27. Debates Contemporâneos em Filosofia da Memória: Uma Breve Introdução.César Schirmer dos Santos, André Sant'Anna, Kourken Michaelian, James Openshaw & Denis Perrin - forthcoming - Lampião.
    Neste artigo apresentamos, de forma concisa e em português, alguns elementos-chave dos principais debates contemporâneos na filosofia da memória. Nosso principal objetivo é tornar essas discussões mais acessíveis aos leitores de língua portuguesa, fornecendo uma atualização importante para esforços anteriores (Sant’Anna & Michaelian, 2019a). Começamos introduzindo a noção de viagem no tempo mental, a qual estabelece a base empírica para a metodologia empregada em trabalhos recentes, antes de apresentar dois debates centrais. Primeiro, o debate entre causalistas e simulacionistas sobre a (...)
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  28. Affectivity and Learning: Bridging the Gap Between Neurosciences, Cultural and Cognitive Psychology.Pablo Fossa & Cristián Cortés-Rivera (eds.) - 2023 - Springer.
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  29. The Influence of Neurosciences on Understanding the Bodily Conditioning of Cognitive Processes: a Socio-Anthropological Aspect.Ηelen V. Chapny - 2023 - RUDN Journal of Philosophy 27 (4):940-956.
    The study presents a conceptual analysis of the main approaches to the study of the human brain and consciousness from the standpoint of modern domestic and foreign neuroscience. Relevant interpretations of such problematic issues and concepts as “the boundary of the human body”, “embodied knowledge”, “general artificial intelligence”, “self”, etc. From the standpoint of a body-oriented approach, the problem of co-evolution of the body, consciousness, technology and social environment is considered. The idea of the body as an artifact is updated (...)
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  30. Philosophical and Methodological Problems of Modern Neurotheology.Aleksey A. Lagunov & Svetlana Yu Ivanova - 2023 - RUDN Journal of Philosophy 27 (4):915-927.
    In modern science, research aimed at studying the functioning of the human brain under the influence of various factors of the social and natural environment, including religious practices, both personal and social, is relevant. The purpose of the research is to consider the current state of neurotheology as a new field of knowledge and to analyze the possibilities of its interaction with already existing social and humanitarian disciplines; review, analytical and critical publications of Russian and foreign scientists are used as (...)
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  31. Philosophy and Neurosciences: Perspectives for Interaction.Vadim A. Chaly - 2023 - RUDN Journal of Philosophy 27 (4):835-847.
    The study analyzes modern reductivist and antireductivist approaches to understanding the interaction between philosophy and neuroscience. It analyzes the content and grounds for using the concepts of neuroscience and neurosciences, philosophy of neuroscience, and neurophilosophy. The milestones in the development of neuroreductivism, from Patricia Churchland’s arguments in support of intertheoretic reduction through Francis Crick’s eliminativism to John Bickle’s ruthless reductionism, are described. The ontological, methodological, and epistemic grounds for the reduction to neurosciences of other ways of representing mind and body (...)
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  32. The wrongs, harms, and ineffectiveness of torture: A moral evaluation from empirical neuroscience.Nayef Al-Rodhan - 2023 - Journal of Social Philosophy 54 (4):565-582.
    Journal of Social Philosophy, EarlyView.
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  33. The Neurobiological platform for moral values.Patricia S. Churchland - 2015 - In Anthony O'Hear (ed.), Mind, Self and Person. Cambridge University Press.
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  34. Espinosa e a neurobiologia: os usos do modelo das relações corpo/mente em Changeaux, Damasio e Atlan.Chantal Jaquet & Gabriel Frizzarin de Souza - 2023 - Cadernos Espinosanos 49:17-64.
    A concepção espinosista das relações entre o corpo e a mente é frequentemente apresentada como um modelo e uma referência na biologia e na neurobiologia contemporâneas, como testemunham as obras de Jean-Pierre Changeux, de Antonio Damasio ou de Henri Atlan. Apesar de suas profundas diferenças, esses pesquisadores expõem de maneira análoga três teses que fazem de Espinosa um precursor: o monismo psicofísico, a dualidade de expressão da unidade corpo/mente e a ausência de interação e de causalidade recíproca. Esse artigo se (...)
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  35. Le allucinazioni uditive tra neurobiologia e fenomenologia.Federica Doronzo - 2023 - Rivista Internazionale di Filosofia e Psicologia 14 (3):214-226.
    _Riassunto_: Il presente lavoro proporre una rassegna che consideri il fenomeno delle allucinazioni uditive da due diverse prospettive: quella neurobiologica e quella fenomenologica. La neurobiologia indaga i meccanismi cerebrali correlati alle _allucinazioni uditive_, focalizzandosi sulla presenza di attivazioni neurali anomale; la fenomenologia, diversamente, si concentra sui processi psichici, mostrando come i pazienti hanno difficoltà a distinguere le sensazioni causate dalle proprie azioni da quelle che derivano da influenze esterne. Queste prospettive non sono mutualmente esclusive. Gli studi che verranno discussi sono (...)
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  36. The ordering mind. The Goldstein-Cassirer approach to neuropathology and its relevance today.Luigi Laino - 2023 - Rivista Internazionale di Filosofia e Psicologia 14 (3):168-180.
    _Abstract_: In this paper, I will examine the Goldstein-Cassirer approach to neuropathology to determine its current potential for yielding valuable insights. To this end, I will reconstruct the philosophical and theoretical underpinnings of such a standpoint in the first four sections. What will emerge is that it entails a definition of pathology as the loss of balance in the adaption of human beings to the environment, leading to a lack of proclivity to categorical behaviour and symbolic performances. Furthermore, we will (...)
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  37. Some problems with the neuroscience research program.Nicholas C. Burbules - 2016 - In Clarence W. Joldersma (ed.), Neuroscience and Education: A Philosophical Appraisal. Routledge.
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  38. Beyond a representational model of mind in educational neuroscience : bodily subjectivity and dynamic cognition.Clarence W. Joldersma - 2016 - In Neuroscience and Education: A Philosophical Appraisal. Routledge.
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  39. Cultivating moral values in an age of neuroscience.Derek Sankey & Minkang Kim - 2016 - In Clarence W. Joldersma (ed.), Neuroscience and Education: A Philosophical Appraisal. Routledge.
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  40. Neoliberalism and the neuronal self : a critical perspective on neuroscience's application to education.Clarence W. Joldersma - 2016 - In Neuroscience and Education: A Philosophical Appraisal. Routledge.
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  41. Neuroscience, neuropragmatism, and commercialism.Deron Boyles - 2016 - In Clarence W. Joldersma (ed.), Neuroscience and Education: A Philosophical Appraisal. Routledge.
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  42. Two cases in neuroeducational knowledge transfer : behavioral ethics and responsive parenting.Bruce Maxwell & Eric Racine - 2016 - In Clarence W. Joldersma (ed.), Neuroscience and Education: A Philosophical Appraisal. Routledge.
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  43. The attraction and rhetoric of neuroscience for education and educational research.Paul Smeyers - 2016 - In Clarence W. Joldersma (ed.), Neuroscience and Education: A Philosophical Appraisal. Routledge.
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  44. Out of our minds : Hacker and Heidegger contra neuroscience.Emma Williams & Paul Standish - 2016 - In Clarence W. Joldersma (ed.), Neuroscience and Education: A Philosophical Appraisal. Routledge.
  45. Somatic multiplicities: The microbiome-gut-brain axis and the neurobiologized educational subject.James Reveley - 2024 - Educational Philosophy and Theory 56 (1):52-62.
    Therapeutic translations of the microbiome-gut-brain (MGB) axis are reconstructing the educational subject in a manner amenable to Foucauldian analysis. Yet, at the same time, under the sway of MGB research social scientists are taking a biosocial turn that threatens the integrity of Foucault’s historicizing philosophical project. Meeting that challenge head-on, this article argues that the MGB axis augments the neurobiological constitution of the educational subject by means of a dietetic mode of subjectivation. Absent a pedagogical element, there is a hollowness (...)
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  46. Artificial Intelligence and Neuroscience Research: Theologico-Philosophical Implications for the Christian Notion of the Human Person.Justin Nnaemeka Onyeukaziri - 2023 - Maritain Studies/Etudes Maritainiennes 39:85-103.
    This paper explores the theological and philosophical implications of artificial intelligence (AI) and Neuroscience research on the Christian’s notion of the human person. The paschal mystery of Christ is the intuitive foundation of Christian anthropology. In the intellectual history of the Christianity, Platonism and Aristotelianism have been employed to articulate the Christian philosophical anthropology. The Aristotelian systematization has endured to this era. Since the modern period of the Western intellectual history, Aristotelianism has been supplanted by the positive sciences as the (...)
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  47. The Theory of Mind Under Scrutiny: Psychopathology, Neuroscience, Philosophy of Mind and Artificial Intelligence.Teresa Lopez-Soto, Alvaro Garcia-Lopez & Francisco J. Salguero-Lamillar (eds.) - 2023 - Springer Nature Switzerland.
    This book is a call to expand and diversify our approach to the study of the human mind in relation to the Theory of Mind. It proposes that it is necessary to combine cross-disciplinary methods to arrive at a more complete understanding of how our minds work. Seeking to expand the discussion surrounding the Theory of Mind beyond the field of psychology, and its focus on our capacity to ascribe mental states to other people, this volume collects evidence and research (...)
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  48. Towards Translational (Neuro)Hermeneutics of Landscape: Theoretical and Methodologial Considerations on Translational Analysis.Beata Piecychna - 2023 - Studies in Logic, Grammar and Rhetoric 68 (1):183-197.
    There is a growing sense among translational hermeneuticists that their assumptions pertaining to the act of translation as seen from the hermeneutical perspective should align them more with a cognitive field. Taking the above view into account, the aim of this paper is to introduce the idea of translational (neuro)hermeneutics into the field of translation studies. The first part of the paper is dedicated to the concept of (neuro)hermeneutics as based on Gambino and Pulvirenti (2019) approach to literary studies, which (...)
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  49. The Neuroscience of Spirits: A Spark in the Dark.Peter Brugger - 2023 - Journal of Scientific Exploration 37 (4).
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  50. The Neurocognitive Foundations of Prayer: A Critical Analysis.Justyna Herda - 2023 - Roczniki Filozoficzne 71 (4):25-42.
    In recent decades, there has been a significant increase in the interest taken by experimental researchers in issues that have traditionally belonged to the sphere of interest of the philosophy of mind, the philosophy of cognition, and even the theology of spirituality. The availability of new research methods, as well as the increase in the knowledge of the world, has opened another door to the reality in which we live. By studying the functioning of the human brain in specific laboratory (...)
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