Chapter

The Plasticity of the Nervous System

Edward M. Hundert

in Philosophy Psychiatry and Neuroscience

Published in print November 1990 | ISBN: 9780198248965
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191681165 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198248965.003.0011

Series: Clarendon Paperbacks

The Plasticity of the Nervous System

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This chapter is devoted to examining how recent neuroscientific research sheds light on the Hegelian dialectic within this synthesis of perspectives. Since the nervous system is the organ humans use to interact with the environment, this chapter continues the Hegelian programme by exploring the contributions of the environment to the nervous system. Furthermore, there is a focus on the ‘content’ of experience and the discovery that our brains are shaped by features of the world such as ‘lines in various orientations’, ‘motion in different directions’, and the like. Just as a non-‘object’-containing world of coalescing mercury droplets would not provide the structure needed for minds to construct experience according to the concept of ‘object’, so a non-‘horizontal line’ containing world would not provide the content needed for brains to construct experience according to horizontal features of the world.

Keywords: neuroscientific research; Hegelian dialectic; environment; nervous system; brain

Chapter.  9755 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Philosophy of Mind

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