Brain, Mind and Consciousness in the History of Neuroscience (History, Philosophy and Theory of the Life Sciences)

Brain, Mind and Consciousness in the History of Neuroscience (History, Philosophy and Theory of the Life Sciences)

Language: English

Pages: 369

ISBN: 9401787735

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub


This volume of essays examines the problem of mind, looking at how the problem has appeared to neuroscientists (in the widest sense) from classical antiquity through to contemporary times. Beginning with a look at ventricular neuropsychology in antiquity, this book goes on to look at Spinozan ideas on the links between mind and body, Thomas Willis and the foundation of Neurology, Hooke’s mechanical model of the mind and Joseph Priestley’s approach to the mind-body problem.

The volume offers a chapter on the 19th century Ottoman perspective on western thinking. Further chapters trace the work of nineteenth century scholars including George Henry Lewes, Herbert Spencer and Emil du Bois-Reymond. The book covers significant work from the twentieth century, including an examination of Alfred North Whitehead and the history of consciousness, and particular attention is given to the development of quantum consciousness. Chapters on slavery and the self and the development of an understanding of Dualism bring this examination up to date on the latest 21st century work in the field.

At the heart of this book is the matter of how we define the problem of consciousness itself: has there been any progress in our understanding of the working of mind and brain? This work at the interface between science and the humanities will appeal to experts from across many fields who wish to develop their understanding of the problem of consciousness, including scholars of Neuroscience, Behavioural Science and the History of Science.

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Whitehead developed his natural philosophy during the first half of the twentieth century but moved steadily upstream against materialist currents of thought among his contemporaries. He developed his views in tandem with groundbreaking discoveries among early quantum theorists although he interpreted their findings differently. Analyses by his student Eddington showed his theory of gravity resulted in outcomes equivalent to Einstein’s but included a role for superpositions. Although perhaps

parts or aspects. In his technical vocabulary, singular things—including conscious selves—are modes or modifications of the totality,8 which is both logically and causally prior to any singular thing (E1p1). The implications of these contrasting starting points are important. As has already been noted, the reductive cogito does not lead the doubter to knowledge of anything outside of itself, and as a result, Descartes is forced to introduce additional fundamental ideas including that of an

political servility informed Western culture for millennia. Two thousand years after Plato, John Milton (1959) blamed the English people’s preference for monarchy over republicanism on their servitude to their own desires: ‘being slaves within doors, no wonder that they strive so much to have the public State conformably govern’d to the inward vitious rule, by which they govern themselves.’ Until the American Civil War, pro-slavery advocates like James Shannon utilized the same argument against

Lindberg 1976 for details. Lindberg suggests (ch. 3) that there were three main considerations involved, mathematical, physical, and physiological, which led to various versions of three main outlooks on vision, not integrated until the work of Alhazen. 6The transmitted packets of information received a variety of names, of which ‘form,’ ‘species,’ ‘phantasm,’ ‘image,’ and ‘idea’ were perhaps the most common in the early modern period. Earlier, Roger Bacon (1214–1292/4) offered the following as

is disrupted, the sensations it sub-serves diminish or are abolished” How does Mavrogenis justify his insistence on the existence of soul in view of the, nearly perfect and pure, clinical reasoning that was just laid out? His answer introduces a new, rather sophist, twist in his argument: The reflections of different notions in the brain are meaningless as they do not contain meaning by themselves. For Mavrogenis, in order for the reflection of a notion to acquire meaning, the presence of the

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