Neurophilosophy and Neuroethics: Template for Neuropsychoanalysis?



The encounter of neuroscience has led to intense debate in philosophy on how its originally mind-based concepts are related to the brain and its neural function. While some proponents in especially the Anglo-American world suggest reductive replacement of philosophy by neuroscience as manifest in what they call neurophilosophy, the opponents claim for a more non-reductive form of neurophilosophy where both philosophy and neuroscience are closely intertwined but distinct. I here sketch the field of such non-reductive neurophilosophy by distinguishing different domains, empirical (neuroscientific investigation of originally philosophical concepts) theoretical (methodological and conceptual issues), and practical (neuroethical questions) neurophilosophy. In conclusion, a non-reductive neurophilosophy opens the door for a truly transdisciplinary exchange between philosophy and neuroscience which will lead to novel questions and approaches in both disciplines. This, in turn, will also make possible intensive dialogue between psychoanalysis and neuroscience, i.e. neuropsychoanalysis.


Neurophilosophy Non-reductive Empirical Theoretical Neuroethics 


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Mind, Brain Imaging, and Neuroethics, Institute of Mental Health ResearchUniversity of OttawaOttawaCanada

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