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Wednesday, 24 October 2007

Fame at Last

Well, sort of. I am apparently having a debate with Dr Tallis. I didn't know that when I wrote the piece, but there you go - and Chambers have put it on our website. Feel free to comment. Now I really am going to Venice.


Anonymous said...

As a philosopher, I found some of Raymond Tallis's discussion spot-on. It's a conceptual confusion to identify oneself with one's brain (it would be like saying my throat drinks or my retinas see). *People* see things and to identify people with their brains is a mistake. People's minds aren't substances (mental or physical); losing one's mind isn't like losing one's wallet. Having a mind consists in possessing a bunch of capacities, capacities only attributable to whole living beings. (This isn't to deny that they couldn't have those capacities without having a brain.) M. R. Bennett (a neuroscientist) and P. M. S. Hacker have written a great book on this stuff, *Philosophical Foundations of Neuroscience*; Ch. 3 deals with some of the fallacies neuroscientists make when discussing the mind, and it sounds like these neuro-lawyers are making the same ones.

Apologies for waxing philosophical, but I think this is a clear case where shoddy philosophical thinking can have practical consequences. If these neuro-lawyers start convincing judges that their position is a good one, all sorts of bad consequences could follow.

Mr Pineapples said...

After reading that - My Brain Hurts