Vierteljahresschrift für das Gesamtgebiet der katholischen Theologie
Begründet von Kardinal Leo Scheffczyk • ISSN 0178-1626


Michael Stickelbroeck:
The Cerebral Subject
Objections to a Neurophilosophy
(FKTh 2015-4, p. 254–274)

The article deals with the challenge of the philosophical claim of neurosciences regarding a metaphysical understanding of man as a person. After contextualizing the neurosciences in a global »therapeutic culture« with their weak subject, some fundamental reductionisms, assumed by the »neurophilosophy«, are carved out, to rebut them on the basis of philosophical arguments. A reductive naturalism, which considers the conscious self as a »user illusion« generated by the brain, deletes any mental intentionality. Assuming that all theoretical explanation systems are generated by neural processes in the brain, the discursive-cognitive claim of their own statements though is no longer tenable: as ideas entirely produced by the brain they remain caught in the neural reality of the »brainhood« and are deprived of a crucial dimension: namely that of a rational communicability, which is only disclosed in respect to (on the strength of) an intentionality of the mind. Without such the characteristic nature of the mind cannot be seen at all.

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