The Thoughtful Brain

Edward M. Hundert

in Philosophy Psychiatry and Neuroscience

Published in print November 1990 | ISBN: 9780198248965
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191681165 | DOI:

Series: Clarendon Paperbacks

The Thoughtful Brain

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In this chapter, there is reconsideration of Kant's approach as applied to the biological reality of the nervous system. The neuroscientist's view of the necessary conditions for self-conscious experience of an external world is quite different from the conditions Kant devised. In particular, Edelman's theory of ‘group selection and phasic re-entrant signalling’ requires such conditions as the selection of degenerate groups of neurons as well as sequential and parallel processing by (R of R) groups capable of recognizing not only ‘inputs’, but also each other. Furthermore, this chapter explores sensorimotor ‘intelligence’ and the limits of neuroscientific research, the participation of the world in thoughtful brains and the biologic basis of intersubjective knowledge. This chapter concludes that it is, in a very practical sense, biology which supports the coherence theory of knowledge.

Keywords: Kant's approach; self-conscious experience; Edelman's theory; sensorimotor intelligence; neuroscientific research

Chapter.  14090 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Philosophy of Mind

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