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Hollow Minds: A neurally grounded epistemology

Johansson, Fredrik LU (2012) FTEM10 20111
Theoretical Philosophy
Abstract
This essay presents a perspective in which knowledge is to be understood as abilities
of the nervous system. Classic epistemology has not been able to shed sufficient light
on a large number of conundrums that arise from its analyses on human belief, which
motivates a different approach. An introductory discussion herein argues for a new
naturalistic principle concerning what I have termed ‘congruence naturalism’. This
suggests that epistemology should be neurally grounded and biologically realistic. It
is then argued that previous naturalized epistemologies, including many drawing on
neuroscience, commit to several fallacies. These revolve around a view of the nervous
system as an entity that represents the parts of the world... (More)
This essay presents a perspective in which knowledge is to be understood as abilities
of the nervous system. Classic epistemology has not been able to shed sufficient light
on a large number of conundrums that arise from its analyses on human belief, which
motivates a different approach. An introductory discussion herein argues for a new
naturalistic principle concerning what I have termed ‘congruence naturalism’. This
suggests that epistemology should be neurally grounded and biologically realistic. It
is then argued that previous naturalized epistemologies, including many drawing on
neuroscience, commit to several fallacies. These revolve around a view of the nervous
system as an entity that represents the parts of the world external to itself. Not only is
this an unnecessary assumption but also it is an assumption that lacks empirical
support and in sharp contrast has plenty of empirical data that seriously contradict it.
It is deliberated that the key to understanding what a philosophical theory of human
knowledge should be based on what can be found by studying knowledge acquisition.
What the nervous system can be observed to acquire when it learns is something
ontologically parsimonious and comparatively indubitable to use as building blocks
for a modern natural epistemology. This leads the investigation to a conclusion that
all knowledge is constituted by sets of neural abilities or ‘ability bundles’. (Less)
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author
Johansson, Fredrik LU
supervisor
organization
course
FTEM10 20111
year
type
H1 - Master's Degree (One Year)
subject
keywords
Knowledge, Neurophilosophy, Ability, Epistemology, Representations
language
English
id
2734141
date added to LUP
2012-07-27 15:08:13
date last changed
2012-07-27 15:08:13
@misc{2734141,
  abstract     = {This essay presents a perspective in which knowledge is to be understood as abilities
of the nervous system. Classic epistemology has not been able to shed sufficient light
on a large number of conundrums that arise from its analyses on human belief, which
motivates a different approach. An introductory discussion herein argues for a new
naturalistic principle concerning what I have termed ‘congruence naturalism’. This
suggests that epistemology should be neurally grounded and biologically realistic. It
is then argued that previous naturalized epistemologies, including many drawing on
neuroscience, commit to several fallacies. These revolve around a view of the nervous
system as an entity that represents the parts of the world external to itself. Not only is
this an unnecessary assumption but also it is an assumption that lacks empirical
support and in sharp contrast has plenty of empirical data that seriously contradict it.
It is deliberated that the key to understanding what a philosophical theory of human
knowledge should be based on what can be found by studying knowledge acquisition.
What the nervous system can be observed to acquire when it learns is something
ontologically parsimonious and comparatively indubitable to use as building blocks
for a modern natural epistemology. This leads the investigation to a conclusion that
all knowledge is constituted by sets of neural abilities or ‘ability bundles’.},
  author       = {Johansson, Fredrik},
  keyword      = {Knowledge,Neurophilosophy,Ability,Epistemology,Representations},
  language     = {eng},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  title        = {Hollow Minds: A neurally grounded epistemology},
  year         = {2012},
}