Doyle and the Brain

Chris Matthew Sciabarra cms10 at
Tue Sep 7 10:01:42 MDT 1999

I appreciate the very long post by Doyle on how the brain works.  Honestly,
I don't see why there is anything with regard to physiological realities
that contradicts what I've said about dialectics as a philosophical term.
Dialectics began in the argumentative arts; that it has come to be applied
to everything -- from biology to logical discourse to social theory -- is
surely a deep indicator that it is consistent with how the brain works.  It
is always great to refer to scientific data in support for one's
methodology; I've not done so because I didn't approach the issue on this
list on that physiological level of generality.  It is appropriate, and
I've no problem with it -- save one:  our knowledge of the brain's
physiology is constantly expanding, and what may be today's scientific
fashion may be tomorrow's scientific myth.  So, while I think it is usually
good to refer to this data, it is also important to understand that much of
philosophy is meta-physiology, or meta-scientific.  That is, though it is
dependent on certain important facts of reality, it is also a discipline
that helps to ground the foundations of further inquiry.

Chris Matthew Sciabarra, Visiting Scholar
NYU Department of Politics
715 Broadway
New York, New York  10003-6806
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