Touching a Nerve: Our Brains, Our Selves
What happens when we accept that everything we feel and think stems not from an immaterial spirit but from electrical and chemical activity in our brains? In this thought-provoking narrative—drawn from professional expertise as well as personal life experiences—t ...more
Overall, Churchland (a neurophil ...more
Being a young aspiring experimental psychology graduate with a minor in philosophy, I find the work of Patricia Churchland refreshing. A philosopher who actively works in the psychological sciences!? Astounding! About time philosophers with questions about the mind actually look to the experimental results instead of philosophizing in an office chair (no disrespect, most philosophers are brilliant and ask in ...more
She explores what neuroscience has to say about the self, an afterlife, and morality. She then explores sex, aggression, viol ...more
This book looks at the 'hard problem' of consciousness and goes about systematically explaining why it ...more
As a piece ...more
Saw the author on The Colbert Report, so knew her position on "self" being completely electrical/chemical quantifiable response and that she doesn't believe there is a non-quantifiable part of human existence. Still, I thought it might be interesting to see what neurobiologists have learned lately about our gray matter in spite of not agreeing with her POV. I might have gotten through that aspect of the book, but found the lack of focus (OMG, the tangents were all over the place) and the en ...more
Basically, Canadian farm girl turned philosopher throws curve balls at the establishment. You go!
It doesn't seem like she puts forth any new arguments in this book, it's more a synthesis of others' work on how the concept of self and personhood is generated neurally. Very light read.
Churchland is not exactly a bad author. Her use of folksy wisdom gained growing up on a farm as backing for her "neurophilosophy" is a bit questionable, but generally speaking, the examples and explanations are ...more
Touching a Nerve is an aptly book by Patricia Churchland, which uses current neuroscience research to answer deep philosophical questions, such as “Is there a soul?” “Where does morality come from?” “Are humans inherently aggressive?” and “What is consciousness?” She draws heavily from her experience growing up in a farm in rural Canada to relate to the audience and soften the blow of what is essentially a deliberate debunking of ideas espoused by religion regarding the soul, morality, death, fr...more
In studying the mind/brain, perhaps the most perplexing questions are these: "What is c ...more
First things first, despite occasional figures that elaborate on br ...more