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Paul Churchland

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Paul Churchland
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{{Multiple issues|{{BLP sources|date=February 2017}}{{third-party|date=February 2017}}{{cleanup biography|date=February 2017}}{{Lead rewrite|reason=it overemphasises academic positions over intellectual contributions, and fails to source statements regarding the subject's intellectual contributions in lead or body | date=February 2017}}}}







factoids
|birth_place = Vancouver, B.C., Canada|school_tradition = Analytic philosophy|alma_mater = University of Pittsburgh|institutions = University of Pittsburgh|main_interests = Neurophilosophy, philosophy of science, philosophy of mind, artificial intelligence, epistemologyEliminative materialism, Direction of fit>word–world relationsPaul Churchland, "Conceptual progress and word/world relations: In search of the essence of natural kinds", Canadian Journal of Philosophy 15(1):1–17 (1985).|influences = W. V. O. Quine, Thomas Kuhn, Russell Hanson, Wilfred Sellars, Paul Feyerabend, Karl Popper|influenced = |doctoral_advisor = Wilfrid Sellars|spouse = Patricia Churchland}}Paul Montgomery Churchland (born October 21, 1942) is a Canadian philosopher known for his studies in neurophilosophy and the philosophy of mind. After earning a Ph.D. from the University of Pittsburgh under Wilfrid Sellars (1969), Churchland rose to the rank of full professor at the University of Manitoba before accepting the Valtz Family Endowed Chair in Philosophy at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD) and a joint appointments in that institution's Institute for Neural Computation and on its Cognitive Science Faculty.As of February 2017, Churchland is recognised as Professor Emeritus at the UCSD, and is a member of the Board of Trustees of the Moscow Center for Consciousness Studies of Moscow State University. Churchland is the husband of philosopher Patricia Churchland, with whom he collaborates, and The New Yorker has reported the similarity of their views, e.g., on the mind-body problem, are such that the two are often discussed as if they are one person.

Early life and education

{{expand section | sourced details standard to this section, including place and date of birth, parents, and early education | small = no|date=February 2017}} Paul Montgomery Churchland was born in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, on October 21, 1942.BOOK, Keeley, Brian L., 2006, Introduction: Becoming Paul M. Churchland (1942–) [Ch. 1], Paul Churchland, Keeley, Brian L., 1-31, esp. 1-2, Cambridge, UK, 0521537150, Cambridge University Press,weblink 11 February 2017, [Quote:] PMC was born a Canadian and earned a B.A. from the University of British Columbia, and in 1969, he was awarded a Ph.D. in Philosophy from the University of Pittsburgh. There, he wrote a dissertation under the direction of Wilfrid Sellars. He spent the first 15 years of his career at the University of Manitoba, taking advantage of its relative isolation to further develop his own approach to the ideas to which he was exposed during his graduate education. ... His second book, Matter and Consciousness (1984, revised and updated 1988; translated into five languages), has become one of the most popular textbooks in the philosophy of mind., Note, this link presents only an excerpt of the chapter, the first 10 pages.BOOK,weblink The Dictionary of Modern American Philosophers, Shook, John R., A&C Black, 2005, 9781843710370, 492, en, He graduated from the University of British Columbia with a Bachelor of Arts in 1964He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Pittsburgh in 1969,BOOK, Zawidzki, Tadeusz, May 2004, Churchland, Paul, Dictionary of Philosophy of Mind,weblink 11 February 2017, his dissertation entitled "Persons and P-Predicates" written with Wilfrid Sellars as his advisor.BOOK, Pitt ULS Staff [George, J. & Lugar, L.], 2011, 2007, University of Pittsburgh, University Library System, Guides to Archives and Manuscript Collections at the University of Pittsburgh Library System, Wilfrid S. Sellars Papers [§Biography, and §Subseries 3. Dissertations, 1942-1987, Box 137],weblink 11 February 2017,

Career

Churchland lectured at the University of Toronto from 1967–69,{{citation needed|date=February 2017}} and began his independent professional career as an instructor at the University of Pittsburgh in 1969.{{citation needed|date=February 2017}} In 1969, Churchland took a position at the University of Manitoba, where he would teach for fifteen years: as an assistant professor (1969–74) and associate professor (1974–79),{{citation needed|date=February 2017}} and then, from 1979-1984, as a full professor. He spent a year at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, and joined the faculty at the University of California, San Diego in 1984. There, he served as Department Chair from 1986-1990.BOOK,weblink What Is the Argument?: An Introduction to Philosophical Argument and Analysis, Harrell, Maralee, MIT Press, 2016, 9780262529273, 296, en, As of this February 2017, Churchland is recognised as Professor Emeritus at the University of California, San Diego,WEB, UCSD Staff, 11 February 2017, UC San Diego, Philosophy Department, Faculty, University of California–San Diego,weblink 11 February 2017, where he earlier held the Valtz Family Endowed Chair in Philosophy (through 2011),WEB, Arneson, Richard J., 11 February 2017, UCSD Philosophy: Richard J. Arneson, University of California–San Diego,weblink 11 February 2017, {{self-published inline|date=February 2017}}{{better source|date=February 2017}}As of February 2017, the UCSD Philosophy webpage reports Richard J. Arneson as the Valtz Chair, and Arneson reports his having assumed that position in July, 2011. and continues to appear as a philosophy faculty member on the UCSD Interdisciplinary Ph.D. Program in Cognitive ScienceWEB, UCSD Staff, 11 February 2017, UCSD Cognitive Science: IDP Faculty, University of California–San Diego,weblink 11 February 2017, and with the affiliated faculty of the UCSD Institute for Neural Computation.WEB, UCSD Staff, 11 February 2017, Institute for Neural Computation: Affiliated Faculty, University of California–San Diego,weblink 11 February 2017, As of February 2017, he is also a member of the Board of Trustees of the Center for Consciousness Studies of the Philosophy Department, Moscow State University.WEB, MCfCS Staff, 11 February 2017, The Moscow Center for Consciousness Studies: People, HardProblem.ru,weblink 11 February 2017,

Philosophical views

{{Multiple issues|section=yes|{{BLP sources section|date=February 2017}}{{essay|section|date=February 2017}}}}Churchland's work is in the school of analytic philosophy in western philosophy, with interests in epistemology and the philosophy of science, and specific principal interests in the philosophy of mind and in neurophilosophy and artificial intelligence.{{citation needed|date=February 2017}} His work has been described as being influenced by the work of W. V. O. Quine, Thomas Kuhn, Russell Hanson, Wilfred Sellars, and Paul Feyerabend.BOOK,weblink Paul Churchland, Keeley, Brian L., Cambridge University Press, 2006, 0521537150, Keeley, Brian L., Cambridge, UK, 3, en, Introduction: Becoming Paul M. Churchland (1942–), Along with his wife, Churchland is a major proponent of eliminative materialism,BOOK, Ramsey, William, 2013, 2003, Eliminative Materialism, revision of 16 April 2013, based on 8 May 2003 original, The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, Zalta, Edward N.,weblink Metaphysics Research Lab, Stanford University, 11 February 2017, [Quote:] In more recent history, eliminative materialism has received attention from a broader range of writers, including many concerned not only with the metaphysics of the mind, but also the process of theory change, the status of semantic properties, the nature of psychological explanation and recent developments in cognitive science. Much of this attention has been fostered by the husband-wife team of Paul and Patricia Churchland, whose writings have forced many philosophers and cognitive scientists to take eliminativism more seriously., the belief that where by folk psychology is meant everyday mental concepts such as beliefs, feelings, and desires, which are viewed as theoretical constructs without coherent definition, and thus destined to be obviated by a scientific understanding of human nature.{{according to whom|date=February 2017}}{{citation needed|date=February 2017}} From the perspective of Zawidzki, Churchland's concept of eliminativism is suggested as early as his book Scientific Realism and the Plasticity of Mind (1979), with its most explicit formulation appearing in a Journal of Philosophy essay, "Eliminative Materialism and the Propositional Attitudes" (1981, see #Written works section below).Churchland holds that beliefs are not ontologically real; that is, he maintains that a future, fully matured neuroscience is likely to have no need for "beliefs" (see propositional attitudes), in the same manner that modern science discarded such notions as legends or witchcraft.{{according to whom|date=February 2017}}{{citation needed|date=February 2017}} According to Churchland, such concepts will not merely be reduced to more finely grained explanation and retained as useful proximate levels of description, but will be strictly eliminated as wholly lacking in correspondence to precise objective phenomena, such as activation patterns across neural networks.QUOTE, February 2017, He points out that the history of science has seen many posits once considered real entities, such as phlogiston, caloric, the luminiferous ether, and vital forces, thus eliminated.{{citation needed|date=February 2017}}Moreover, in The Engine of Reason, The Seat of the Soul Churchland hypothesizes that consciousness might be explained in terms of a recurrent neural network with its hub in the intralaminar nucleus of the thalamus, and feedback connections to all parts of the cortex.{{full citation needed|date=February 2017}} He acknowledges that this proposal will likely be found in error with regard to the neurological details, but states his belief that it is on the right track in its use of recurrent neural networks to account for consciousness.{{citation needed|date=February 2017}} This has been described, notably,{{by whom|date=February 2017}} as a reductionist rather than eliminativist account of consciousness.{{citation needed|date=February 2017}}

Personal life

Churchland is the husband of philosopher Patricia Churchland, and it has been noted that, "Their work is so similar that they are sometimes discussed, in journals and books, as one person."JOURNAL, MacFarquhar, Larissa, February 12, 2007, Two Heads: A marriage devoted to the mind-body problem, The New Yorker,weblink 11 February 2017, The Churchlands are the parents of two children, Mark Churchland and Anne Churchland, both of whom are neuroscientists.NEWS,weblink Why Should Philosophers Care About Neuroscience?, MacFarquhar, Larissa, 2014-07-21, 2019-06-06, en, 0028-792X,

Written works

Popular writing

  • JOURNAL, Churchland, Patricia Smith & Churchland, Paul, 1990, Could a Machine Think?, Scientific American, 262, 1; January,weblink 11 February 2017, [Subtitle:] Classical AI is unlikely to yield conscious machines; systems that mimic the brain might., [subscription required]

Scholarly work

Books

Professor Churchland has authored several books in philosophy, which have been translated into many languages. His works are as follows:{{div col|colwidth=30em}}
  • BOOK, Churchland, Paul, 1986, 1979, Scientific Realism and the Plasticity of Mind, 1st paperback, Cambridge Studies in Philosophy, 157 pp., Cambridge, UK, Cambridge University Press, 0521338271, 0950-6306, 10.1017/CBO9780511625435,weblink 11 February 2017,
  • BOOK, Churchland, Paul, 2, 1984, Matter and Consciousness, Cambridge, MA, USA, MIT Press,
  • BOOK, Churchland, Paul, 2, 1985, Images of Science: Scientific Realism versus Constructive Empiricism, Chicago, IL, The University of Chicago Press,
  • BOOK, Churchland, Paul, 2, 1989, A Neurocomputational Perspective: The Nature of Mind and the Structure of Science, Cambridge, MA, USA, MIT Press, 0262531062,
  • BOOK, Churchland, Paul, 2, 1995, The Engine of Reason, The Seat of the Soul: A Philosophical Journey into the Brain, Cambridge, MA, USA, MIT Press, 0262531429,weblink
  • BOOK, Churchland, Paul Smith, Churchland, Patricia Smith, 2, 1998, On the Contrary: Critical Essays, 1987-1997, Cambridge, MA, USA, MIT Press, 0262531658,weblink
  • BOOK, Churchland, Paul, 2, 2007, Neurophilosophy at Work, Cambridge, MA, USA, MIT Press, 0521864720,weblink
  • BOOK, Churchland, Paul, 2, 2012, Plato's Camera: How the Physical Brain Captures a Landscape of Abstract Universals, Cambridge, MA, USA, MIT Press, 0262016869,weblink
{{div col end}}His book Matter and Consciousness has been frequently and extensively reprinted.See, for instance: (1) "Eliminative Materialism" in Introducing Philosophy (R.C. Solomon, Pages 449 - 453);{{full citation needed|date=February 2017}} (2) "Behaviorism, Materialism, and Functionalism" in Reason and Responsibility: Readings in Some Basic Problems of Philosophy, Seventh Edition (Edited by J. Feinberg, Wadsworth Press);{{full citation needed|date=February 2017}} and (3) "Eliminative Materialism" in Introductory Readings in Philosophy (Edited by J. Pojman, Wadsworth Press).{{full citation needed|date=February 2017}} Both Scientific Realism and the Plasticity of Mind and A Neurocomputational Perspective have also been reprinted.See (1) "The Mind-Body Problem" in Philosophy of Mind (Polish), by the Alethia Foundation (1995);{{full citation needed|date=February 2017}} and (2) "Knowing Qualia: A Reply to Jackson" in The Nature of Consciousness: The Philosophical Debates edited by N. Block, O. Flanagan and G. Guzeldere (MIT Press - 1997).{{full citation needed|date=February 2017}}

Essays

Professor Churchland has written a number of published articles, some of which have been translated into other languages, including several that have had a substantial impact in philosophy.{{citation needed|date=February 2017}} Essays which have been reprinted include:{{citation needed|date=February 2017}}{{div col|colwidth=30em}}
  • JOURNAL, Churchland, Paul, 1981, Eliminative Materialism and the Propositional Attitudes, Journal of Philosophy, 78, 2; February, 67–90, 2025900, See also the PDF version at K. A. Akins' web pages at Simon Fraser University.
  • JOURNAL, Churchland, Paul, 2, 1981, Functionalism, Qualia, and Intentionality, Philosophical Topics, 12,
  • JOURNAL, Churchland, Paul, 2, 1985, Reduction, Qualia and Direct Introspection of Brain States, Journal of Philosophy, 82,
  • JOURNAL, Churchland, Paul, 2, 1986, Some Reductive Strategies in Cognitive Neurobiology, Mind, 95,
  • JOURNAL, Churchland, Paul, 2, 1988, Folk Psychology and the Explanation of Human Behavior, Proceedings of the Aristotelean Society, Supp. Vol. LXII,
  • JOURNAL, Churchland, Paul, 2, 1990, On the Nature of Theories: A Neurocomputational Perspective, Minnesota Studies in the Philosophy of Science, XIV,
  • JOURNAL, Churchland, Paul, 2, 1991, Intertheoretic Reduction: A Neuroscientist's Field Guide, Seminars in Neuroscience, 2,
  • JOURNAL, Churchland, Paul, 2, 1995, The Neural Representation of Social Reality, Mind and Morals,
{{div col end}}

See also

{{div col|colwidth=22em}} {{div col end}}

References

{{reflist|2}}

Further reading

  • BOOK, Churchland, Paul M. & The Eds., 2014, 1995, Neural Networks and Common Sense, interview, Speaking Minds: Interviews with Twenty Eminent Cognitive Scientists, Baumgartner, Peter & Payr, Sabine, Princeton Legacy Library, 33–46, Princeton, NJ, Princeton University Press, 1400863961,weblink 11 February 2017,
  • BOOK, 1996, The Churchlands and their Critics, McCauley, Robert, Philosophers and their Critics, Cambridge, MA, Wiley-Blackwell, 9780631189695,weblink 11 February 2017, The volume includes critical chapters from editor McCauley, Patricia Kitcher, Andy Clark, William G. Lycan, William Bechtel, Jerry Fodor and Ernie Lapore, Antonio R. Damasio and Hanna Damasio, John Marshall and Jennifer Gurd, and Owen Flanagan. These are then followed by a 94 pp. essay in response, by Paul Churchland and Patricia Churchland (hence the Churchlands are both the subject of and in part authors of this volume).
  • BOOK, Zawidzki, Tadeusz, May 2004, Churchland, Paul, Dictionary of Philosophy of Mind,weblink 11 February 2017, {{full citation needed|date=February 2017}}
  • BOOK, Keeley, Brian L., 2006, Introduction: Becoming Paul M. Churchland (1942–) [Ch. 1], Paul Churchland, Keeley, Brian L., 1-31, esp. 1-2, Cambridge, UK, 0521537150, Cambridge University Press,weblink 11 February 2017,
  • BOOK, Ramsey, William, 2013, 2003, Eliminative Materialism, revision of 16 April 2013, based on 8 May 2003 original, The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, Zalta, Edward N.,weblink Metaphysics Research Lab, Stanford University, 11 February 2017,

External links

{{Consciousness}}{{Authority control}}

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