Journal of Consciousness Studies 10 (3):89-93 (2003)

Joel Walmsley
University College, Cork
Max Tegmark, a physicist at the University of Pennsylania recently remarked, 'To tell you the truth, I think most of my colleagues are terrified of talking to philosophers -- like being caught coming out of a pornographic cinema.' Fortunately, it would seem that at least some neuroscientists do not suffer from such reticence when it comes to their professional relationship with philosophy. Testament to this was the quality and variety of the papers in both philosophically- ambitious-neuroscience and neuroscience-inspired-philosophy at what must be said to be a truly interdisciplinary conference. Several times I heard one audience member ask another whether the speaker was a neuroscientist or a philosopher. These days, it's hard to tell without knowing which department of the university they are employed by. In many cases, it is a distinction without difference -- Patricia Churchland is the obvious example of a speaker who is both. It also should not go unnoticed that thanks to her coining of the term with her seminal 1986 book, we now have the field of 'neurophilosophy'
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