Preview Mode Links will not work in preview mode

Oct 21, 2020

Does your brain think? Does your frontal lobe decide? Or do you think and you decide? What is the relationship between the brain and and the mind; between the brain and the person? Neuroscience has entered our everyday speech and increasingly shapes the way we think about ourselves and the world--including some serious conceptual errors. In this episode, I speak with Dr. Michael Egnor, a neurosurgeon and professor of pediatric neurosurgery about some of the philosophical foundations and faulty assumptions of contemporary neuroscience. We discuss his critiques of materialism, positivism, and scientism that underlie much of neuroscience. We also discuss the work of Bennet and Hacker and the pervasive error in neuroscience of the mereological fallacy--the error of identifying the part with the whole--identifying the brain with the person. Bennet and Hacker argue that much contemporary neuroscience is founded upon a "mutant Cartesianism" that has replaced the dualism of Decartes with a new dualism where the brain takes the place of the mind. We also discuss Dr. Egnor’s work on split-brain patients, perception, and the Aristotelian-Thomistic idea of hylomorphism. This is my first interview with Dr. Egnor. In the second interview, we discuss the problem of free will, the work of Benjamin Libet, Sam Harris, and what neuroscience actually tells us about free choices.

Show Notes: