Philosophy of Neuroscience

There is a new web site dedicated to the philosophy of neuroscience. Gualtiero Piccinini (Philosophy, University of Missouri St. Louis) and I (Carl Craver; Philosophy-Neuroscience-Psychology Program, Washington University St. Louis) collaborated in assembling the page with the assistance of Corey Maley, John Gabriel, and several graduate students.

We construe the philosophy of neuroscience as the philosophy of science applied to neuroscience and as distinct from, though complementary to, neurophilosophy, which is the application of neuroscience in the philosophy of mind. A more detailed definition is the backbone of our preliminary topic-specific bibliography. In addition to this bibliography, the site contains links to other philosophers of neuroscience and online resources for the philosophy of neuroscience.

We invite your help in two respects:

1) Please help us to complete the bibliography, the list of people, and the list of pertinent links. Let us know if we have forgotten you, or if there are topics that you think deserve inclusion that are not currently on the list.

2) Please help us to announce conferences and workshops pertaining to the philosophy of neuroscience.


Carl and Gualtiero 


  1. Rob Wilson

    Congratulations on the new website; it looks cool. AND of real use.


    ps: I’m also glad that it includes an entry on philosophical psychopathology …

  2. Eddy Nahmias

    Wow! Great resource. Thanks for putting it together. I’ll make sure my Brains & Behavior students know about it. (I’ll look at the bibliography more closely later, but on a glance, I noticed that the psychopathology section should probably include stuff by George Graham, and there is the 2004 Philosophy of Psychiatry Handbook.)

  3. edouard machery

    Great work. And thanks for doing this.

    Here are a few other people that should definitively be on the list:

    Luc Faucher UQAM, philosophy
    Pierre Poirier, UQAM, philosophy
    Pierre Jacob, Paris, Institut Jean-Nicod
    Joelle Proust, Paris, Institut Jean-Nicod
    Elisabeth Pacherie, Paris, Institut Jean-Nicod
    , Dartmouth

    Maybe, even me (I will have a lot on the neuropsychology of concepts in my book).

    And it is somewhat surprising to see Jerry Fodor on this list, ahem…


  4. anna-mari(at)

    This is just great!

    However, maybe Shapiro should be included also. And Oron Shagrir.

    Well, if Patricia is the mother of neurophilosophy, Fodor is father. And look at the child… uhh, is this actually leading somewhere…

  5. In my opinion, philosophy first need undertake a dialogue with psychology. Understanding the origins of psychology as it evolvolved from early mental philosophy and brain science seems relevant to this point. Where neuroscience at the time was too rudimentary to provide any great insights into the world of the mind, psychology emerged and remained closely related to philosophy. It was not long before behaviorists sought to separate psychology from philosophy (where Gestalt and later constructivists are defined as they relate to philosophy). The separation between philosophy and psychology with became an enormous ravine as behavioral psychology rose to power. Neuroscience and psychology today has begun to accomplish what early brain scientists sought to accomplish in the nineteenth century. If there is an interest in developing a philosophy of neuroscience, the first step would be to bridge the relationship between psychology and philosophy. History can help in this respect. See Edwin G. Boring and Morton Hunt. MIT also has great Open Courseware for cognitive neuroscience and psychology.

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