Ye Olde Natural Philosophy Discussion Group

Reviews and comments on
Paul M. Churchland: "The Engine of Reason, the Seat of the Soul" [1996]

As a whole, our group had medium-positive views about this book. Many had mixed feelings about it, liking part of it, but also finding it somewhat boring or tedious. It may have been a bit hard-going for some folks. Only a few of us read the whole book.

Scott feels this is a shame, since he considers this to be a very important book which explicates very well something that most people do not at all understand, namely, how mental phenomena can result from connectionist neural networks. Scott does, however, consider Churchland's "eliminative materialist" interpretation of such networks to be in error, and disagrees with Churchland's views on ethics, etc. (A link to Scott's review will be added here when he finally finishes it!)

Everybody liked the stereoscopic images, of course, and the degraded images which only made visual sense when your mind is prepared to look at them properly. Our group average for the book, on a scale of 0 to 10, was a respectable 6.3.

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