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Philosophy Psychiatry and NeuroscienceA Synthetic Analysis of the Varieties of Human Experience$
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Edward M. Hundert

Print publication date: 1990

Print ISBN-13: 9780198248965

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198248965.001.0001

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The Thoughtful Brain

The Thoughtful Brain

(p.245) 9 The Thoughtful Brain
Philosophy Psychiatry and Neuroscience

Edward M. Hundert

Oxford University Press

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

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