Patricia Churchland Professor of Philosophy

University of California-San Diego


Patricia Churchland is a thinker noted for her contributions to the philosophy of mind and the burgeoning field of neurophilosophy. Churchland explores the impact of scientific developments on our understanding of the self, free will, decision making, ethics, learning, and religion. Her central interest is how the biological brain generates and maintains the mind. Churchland argues that folk psychological concepts such as consciousness and free will must be revised in the light of current discoveries in neuroscience, taking a biological, reductionist view of the mind-body problem. As she puts it, “Conscious awareness is what a certain complexity of neuronal firings feels like in much the same way that temperature is the subjective experience of molecular motion.” Her recent work has focused on neuroscience and ethics, in which she argues that human morality also has a neurobiological origin.

Neurophilosophy: Toward a Unified Science of the Mind-Brain
The Computational Brain
(with T. J. Sejnowski)
Brain-Wise: Studies in Neurophilosophy
Braintrust: What Neuroscience Tells Us about Morality


photo by ninez marquez

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