ArgLab • Permanent Seminar

Steven Gouveia

Philosophy and Neuroscience: a Methodological Analysis

The central goal of this talk is to identify and discuss the main answers to the methodological problem that arises when we try to conceive a possible relationship between the methodologies of neuroscience and of philosophy. The traditional way of defining philosophical work as an a priori methodology for dealing with different philosophical problems seems to be clearly opposed to the traditional way of conceiving neuroscientific work, namely as a purely a posteriori investigation. Following this opposition, we will analyze four approaches that aim to offer a plausible answer to this methodological problem: the Isolationist Approach, which will try to deny the existence of the problem; the Reductionist Approach, which will focus on specifying how philosophical work can be reduced to neuroscientific work; the Neurophenomenology Approach, that seeks to demonstrate the importance of an embodied approach to the study of the conscious mind; and, finally, the Non-Reductive Neurophilosophical Approach, which will argue for a very particular methodology that conceives the epistemic utility of both philosophical and neuroscientific work to investigate the human brain.

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