September - Touching a Nerve: Exploring the Implications of the Self as Brain

"Touching a Nerve" won our poll for September. This book by Patricia Churchland, one of the pioneers of neurophilosophy, asks "What happens when we accept that everything we feel, think, and experience stems not from an immaterial soul but from electrical and chemical activity in our brains?"

Looking forward to hearing your thoughts (or electrical/chemical impulses) on the book.

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  • Monte

    Thanks to everybody who attended, it was a wonderful discussion. 18th century Paris had its Salons, early 21st century Austin has...Brick Oven :)

    1 · September 26, 2013

  • Bill M.

    Good conversation, very lively, interesting and though-provoking comments

    September 26, 2013

  • Bill M.

    Very nice discussion. Good folks, good talk, good vibes. Thanks to all.

    1 · September 25, 2013

  • Jason C. R.

    I am so thankful for tonight's meeting and discussion. What a perfect mix of voices and perspectives. (Though the pluralist in me does wish there'd been a defense of the soul.)

    My apologies for talking so much -- but in all fairness it was not my fault. I blame the wine. And Candice.

    September 25, 2013

  • Jena M.

    Sorry guys! I was really looking forward to this but have a last minute conflict. I will definitely try to make it next month.

    September 22, 2013

    • A former member
      A former member

      Hope to catch you next time!

      September 25, 2013

  • Jason C. R.

    Hey folks, don't feel like you can't come if you didn't finish the book. :)

    September 23, 2013

    • A former member
      A former member

      Jason's absolutely right--we always have a few people at every meetup that may not have finished the book but still make great contributions. We'd love to have you even if you didn't have time to make it all the way through.

      1 · September 24, 2013

  • Bill M.

    I am planning to come. Have read most of the book and am hoping to finish it.

    1 · September 24, 2013

  • Jason C. R.

    I read some of the Churchlands's (plural) work years ago in my philosophy of mind undergrad class. I remember disagreeing with them. It'll be interesting to see how I respond to this book.

    In more recent history, eliminative materialism has received attention from a broader range of writers ... . Much of this attention has been fostered by the husband-wife team of Paul and Patricia Churchland, whose writings have forced many philosophers and cognitive scientists to take eliminativism more seriously. In his 1981 article, “Eliminative Materialism and the Propositional Attitudes”, Paul Churchland presents several arguments in favor of dropping commonsense psychology that have shaped the modern debate about the status of ordinary notions like belief. Patricia Churchland's provocative 1986 book, Neurophilosophy, suggests that developments in neuroscience point to a bleak future for commonsense mental states.

    September 15, 2013

  • Bill M.

    September 11, 2013

15 went

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