New book “Neuroscience and Philosophy” examines human mind through blended disciplines

Headshots of Walter Sinnott-Armstrong and Felipe De Brigard

A recent publication builds on years-long collaborations between philosophers and neuroscientists, whose research seeks to answer questions about the human mind and how it works.

Kenan Senior Faculty Fellows Felipe De Brigard and Walter Sinnott-Armstrong are the editors of Neuroscience and Philosophy (MIT Press, 2022). The chapters explore a wide range of interdisciplinary questions, from “How do we decide how to act towards each other?” to “How do we remember and categorize what we experience?” Every chapter in the volume was written by a team with at least one philosopher and one neuroscientist.

These teams came together to study each others’ fields during the Summer Seminars in Neuroscience and Philosophy (SNNAP), which De Brigard and Sinnott-Armstrong organized and ran from 2016-2018. Many of them later collaborated on research projects, and returned in 2019 to workshop the resultant chapters in the book.

According to De Brigard and Sinnott-Armstrong, the book’s authors are “all future leaders in neuroscience and philosophy who will shape interactions between these disciplines for years to come. If you want to know how this interdisciplinary field will develop, they will show and tell you.”

The book was released in February 2022 and is now available for purchase.

The Summer Seminars will reconvene in 2022, and hold a closing conference on June 3–June 4. More information is forthcoming on the SSNAP website.

These seminars were funded by the John Templeton Foundation, with additional support from the Duke Institute for Brain Sciences and the Kenan Institute for Ethics.