History, Evolution, and The Darwin Debate

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Mind over neuroscientist

October 27th, 2014 · No Comments


I am perplexed by neuroscientists: for millennia many great advances came via philosophy, but in the age of neuroscience we have gotten confused all over again. Strange.
I think the fallacy of neuroscience fundamentalism lies with an analogy from computer science: to program a computer you really don’t want to use assembly language, unless you have to. Instead you use a higher level language like C or Fortran which is then compiled by special devices called compilers (which are one of the unsung ‘inventions’ in mindware of the last century). High level languages have a clear meaning, so to speak, and evoked the resolutions of semantic statements. Machine theory in principle would be the same, but in practice it almost totally confusing. This analogy has problems but it is clear what the problem is with neuroscience: we can’t as yet really match its complexity to what we know from higher level semantic languages. Instead of moving past scientism, we have ended up with a worse form of it in neuroscience.

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