Latest Issue
Special Reports
Latest Special Report

Out of mind: philosopher Patricia Churchland’s radical approach to the study of human consciousness

The question of how our minds work is one of life's greatest mysteries, fascinating scientists and philosophers alike. When Churchland brought their ideas together she provoked fury—and admiration

By Julian Baggini   November 2019

illustration by michael rea

Back in the 1980s, a wife-husband philosopher team known as “the Churchlands” provoked the ire of their peers with the heretical claim that the best way to understand the mind was to study the brain. That might sound uncontroversial, but in philosophy it was anything but.

The nature of mind and consciousness had been one of the biggest and trickiest issues in philosophy for a century. Neuroscience was developing fast, but most philosophers resisted claims that it was solving the philosophical problems of…

Register today to continue reading

You’ve hit your limit of three articles in the last 30 days. To get seven more, simply enter your email address below.

You’ll also receive our free e-book Prospect’s Top Thinkers 2020 and our newsletter with the best new writing on politics, economics, literature and the arts.

Prospect may process your personal information for our legitimate business purposes, to provide you with our newsletter, subscription offers and other relevant information.

Click here to learn more about these purposes and how we use your data. You will be able to opt-out of further contact on the next page and in all our communications.

More From Prospect