Defending the superiority of evidence-based reasoning over religious faith and philosophical thought experiments, Thagard argues that minds are brains and that reality is what science can discover. Brains come to know reality through a combination of perception and reasoning. Just as important, our brains evaluate aspects of reality through emotions that can produce both good and bad decisions. Our cognitive and emotional abilities allow us to understand reality, decide effectively, act morally, and pursue the vital needs of love, work, and play. Wisdom consists of knowing what matters, why it matters, and how to achieve it.
The Brain and the Meaning of Life shows how brain science helps to answer questions about the nature of mind and reality, while alleviating anxiety about the difficulty of life in a vast universe. The book integrates decades of multidisciplinary research, but its clear explanations and humor make it accessible to the general reader.
Thagard develops cognitive perspectives on the nature of explanation, mental models, theory choice, and resistance to scientific change, considering disbelief in climate change as a case study. He presents a series of studies that describe the psychological and neural processes that have led to breakthroughs in science, medicine, and technology. He shows how discoveries of new theories and explanations lead to conceptual change, with examples from biology, psychology, and medicine. Finally, he shows how the cognitive science of science can integrate descriptive and normative concerns; and he considers the neural underpinnings of certain scientific concepts.
A second goal of this book is to present work in the field without bias toward any particular statistical paradigm.
Broadly speaking, the essays in this Handbook are concerned with problems of induction, statistics and probability. For centuries, foundational problems like induction have been among philosophers’ favorite topics; recently, however, non-philosophers have increasingly taken a keen interest in these issues. This volume accordingly contains papers by both philosophers and non-philosophers, including scholars from nine academic disciplines.Provides a bridge between philosophy and current scientific findingsCovers theory and applicationsEncourages multi-disciplinary dialogue
-Comprehensive coverage of all main theories in the philosophy of Complex Systems
-Clearly written expositions of fundamental ideas and concepts
-Definitive discussions by leading researchers in the field
-Summaries of leading-edge research in related fields are also included
The contributions span a broad range of detailed cases from the science and practice of medicine, as well as a broad range of intellectual approaches, from conceptual analysis to detailed examinations of particular scientific papers or historical episodes.Chapters view philosophy of medicine from quite different anglesConsiders substantive cases from both medical science and practiceChapters from a distinguished array of contributors