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The ‘Hard Problem’ and the Cartesian Strand in British Neurophysiology: Huxley, Foster, Sherrington, Eccles

  • C. U. M. Smith
Chapter
Part of the History, Philosophy and Theory of the Life Sciences book series (HPTL, volume 6)

Abstract

Charles Scott Sherrington’s thoughts on the so-called “hard problem”, the substance dualism of qualia and brain, are discussed in detail. Having inherited Thomas Henry Huxley’s and Michael Foster’s Cartesian approach to pre-modern neurophysiology, Sherrington was adamant that no investigation of the physiology of the brain, no matter how subtle it may be, will ever discover the ‘whisper of a thought or a feeling.’ Pre-figuring Chalmers’ ‘hard problem’, Sherrington said that the mental is not a form of energy; no analysis of the various forms of energy can take us across the gap that separates psychiatry from physiology.

Keywords

Synaptic Vesicle Hard Problem Apical Dendrite Copenhagen Interpretation Plasmodium Malariae 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Emeritus, Department of Vision SciencesAston UniversityBirminghamUK

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