Mind reading or brain imaging?

There’s hype at both ends of the spectrum about what exactly neuroscience can give us. We can now scan active brains and see where more or less activity occurs when people think about A or B or, yes, S too. But what is debated is the relationship between this scientific data (‘part II of his brain lights up when he speaks in another language or when he is offered caviar’) and our consciousness of the fact that we hate caviar. (That’s a summary by one who knows next to nothing about neuroscience.) Anyway, this article at the New Yorker spells out some of the current sniping going on. And what is the cultural subtext? Well, the naturalist believes that our consciousness and all the rest of our being including what we call the mind and the soul is ultimately able to be understood on a brain level of phyics and chemistry. So you see where the philosophy and theology are mixed in with what is ostensibly ‘just science.’ (And BTW: the article ‘The Heretic’ linked to below gives all the background to the naturalist wars.)

|Difficulty: Medium |Tag: Cognitive Science | Time: 6 min |


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