Book Chapter

When the Twain Meet: Could the Study of Mind be a Meeting of Minds?


Cappuccio M & Wheeler M (2010) When the Twain Meet: Could the Study of Mind be a Meeting of Minds?. In: Reynolds J, Chase J, Williams J & Mares E (eds.) Postanalytic and Metacontinental: Crossing Philosophical Divides. Continuum Studies in Philosophy. London: Continuum, pp. 125-144.

First paragraph: What happens when (so-called) analytic philosophy is brought face to face with (so-called) continental philosophy? In its present form, this question is too nebulous to deserve serious attention, since any answer that achieves more than unhelpful over-generalization will depend on which particular lines of thought within these two great philosophical traditions are selected to represent them. So we need to replace our opening question with one that limits the range of views under consideration, and is correspondingly more tractable. Here goes. What happens when scientifically oriented philosophy of mind in the analytic tradition is brought face to face with phenomenological thought in the continental tradition? Given that both these modes of inquiry seek to investigate human experience, one might reasonably think that there must be some sort of overlap between them. So what happens when they are brought together? Do we end up with a meeting of minds or a clashing of heads? Is it a case of friends reunited or of mortal combat? Is there any prospect that the interactions in question will provide the platform for a productive overcoming of the apparent divisions that are standardly thought to separate the two traditions? These are the programmatic questions that ultimately concern us in this paper. To anchor our discussion in a concrete issue, we propose to address them by way of a significant challenge that confronts research in artificial intelligence (AI) and cognitive science. The uninitiated might think of such research as paradigmatically relevant to scientifically oriented philosophy of mind in the analytic tradition, but of little interest to continental phenomenology - except perhaps as an example of the sort of dehumanizing technological thinking that ought to be criticized. The uninitiated are in for a shock.

Title of seriesContinuum Studies in Philosophy
Publication date31/12/2010
Publisher URL…l-9780826424419/
Place of publicationLondon