Manson, Neil C. (2004) Brains, vats and neurally-controlled animats. Studies in history and philosophy of biological and biomedical sciences, 35 (2). pp. 249-268. ISSN 1369-8486Full text not available from this repository.
The modern vat-brain debate is an epistemological one, and it focuses on the point of view a putatively deceived subject. Semantic externalists argue that we cannot coherently wonder whether we are brains in vats. This paper examines a new experimental paradigm for cognitive neuroscience â�� the neurally-controlled animat (NCA) paradigm â�� that seems to have a great deal in common with the vat-brain scenario. Neural cells are provided with a simulated body within an artificial world in order to study the brain both in vitro and in vivo. Given the similarity between the NCA scenario and the vat-brain scenario semantic externalism seems to undermine the utility of the NCA methodology. Three initial responses to the externalist challenge are offered. A fourth response clarifies the distinctive theoretical background to the NCA in â��artificial lifeâ�� and, in doing so, we uncover an anti-representationalist conception of the NCA. This distances the NCA paradigm from externalist objections and casts cognitive neuroscience, and the vat-brain debate, in a new light.
|Journal or Publication Title:||Studies in history and philosophy of biological and biomedical sciences|
|Uncontrolled Keywords:||brain in a vat ; Putnam ; externalism ; animats ; extended cognition ; anti-representationalism|
|Subjects:||B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > B Philosophy (General)|
|Departments:||Faculty of Arts & Social Sciences > Politics & International Relations (Merged into PPR 2010-08-01)|
|Deposited By:||Dr Neil C Manson|
|Deposited On:||01 Jun 2007|
|Last Modified:||26 Jul 2012 18:12|
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