The cognitive sciences and their method: a physicist’s perspective

Wojciech Piotr Grygiel

Abstrakt


The contemporary research in neurobiology heavily rests on the application of complex experimental techniques. The primary aim is to determine the neuronal correlates of various mental phenomena such as abstract thinking, consciousness, free will etc. The application of the contemporary research in neurobiology to understand the nature and the function of the brain is currently having a strong impact on the classical philosophical discourse carried out in area of the philosophy of mind. In this article, a short analysis of one of the most widely used techniques in the neurobiological research is presented, namely, the functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). The particular emphasis is to point out to the conceptual difficulties that arise between the language used at the experimental level (spins, molecules) and how this language might acquire its meaning to eventually refer to the mental phenomena represented by appropriate neuronal structures revealed in the experiment. The apparent disunity will be most likely remedied as a more unified theory relating mental phenomena to the specificity of the most fundamental level of the physical reality becomes available.


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Copyright (c) 2016 Wojciech P. Grygiel