Disguising your activist ideas with neuroscience

Invading neurons No doubt you have noticed like me this growing undesirable effect of the popularity of neuroscience: it frequently replaces the classical paradigms of psychology by their opposites, without real experimental demonstration, as if reading functional MRIs taught us the springs of the human personality… Examples flood our journals that have become neuro-psychological. The … Read more

The mirage of the computational mind

Natural/artificial neurons in tandem Neuroscientists are currently very busy refining neural/mental correlations. They are helped in this by analogies with artificial neural networks, especially SSL Self-Supervised Learning. It is very easy today to record the activity of hundreds of thousands of natural neurons in response to images or spoken stories. Activation sequences are obtained. If … Read more

Another decapitated consciousness!

Behaviorist crisis “The new theory of the unconscious, it is it who commands!” says Anne Debroise in Science & Vie, after reading Andrew Budson, a neurologist in Boston, but without having understood him well. I no longer know whether to rejoice or be sorry for this litany of articles aimed at de-pedestalizing our unfortunate consciousness. … Read more

The platist school

The way in which humans have theorized the relationship between matter and their mind is divided into three great eras: incompatibility, assimilation, coincidence. 1st era: incompatibility The contrast between material and spiritual is an evidence recognized since the dawn of humanity. The explanations provided during the first era, until the middle of the twentieth century, … Read more

Neurocognitive Mechanisms by Gualtiero Piccinini, critical review

Abstract: Neurocognitive Mechanisms (2020), by Gualtiero Piccinini, is a philosophical and neuroscientific work, seeking to ground cognition and its phenomena in a comprehensive neurocomputational theory. But the philosophical treatment is wrong. The introduction of “aspects” of a single level of reality also introduces something that looks independently of that single level. We fall back on … Read more

Compare theories of consciousness?

Striking spirit What is immediately striking about the theories of consciousness is that they don’t look alike at all. Of course we group them into major fields, scientific, religious, philosophical, but each group is heterogeneous. Among scientists, disciplines as diverse as neuroscience, complexity, and quantum physics compete for copyrights on consciousness. Every mystic wants to … Read more

Two speeds for thought?

Pretentious turtle and dumb rabbit In psychology, theories with double thought processes generally oppose unconscious automatic mode and conscious controlled mode. They were popularized in particular by Daniel Kahneman in ‘System 1 / System 2, The Two Speeds of Thought‘ (2012). If the book has been so successful, it is because it is easy to … Read more

Do words create the idea?

It’s clear! Bertrand Perier, lawyer: “It is quite clear to me that words create the idea and not the other way around.” Amazing divinization of communication, words that would be there before their constituent abstractions. It is the transposition to the language of creationism; a God formed of all possible words is at the origin … Read more

Neuroscience and law

The philosopher’s outstretched hand I have not found a better synthesis on this subject than a remarkable issue (60) of Cités published in 2014 (french): “What do cognitive neuroscience think and want?”. The theme allows the confrontation between philosophers and neuroscientists about the mind/body problem. Yves Charles Zarka, for philosophers, begins by giving a hand: … Read more