PLEDGE NOW
The Biology of Consciousness
photo

Renegade husband and wife philosophers Pat and Paul Churchland met forty years ago in a college Plato class. Their instincts as philosophers — then and now — run outside the philosophy mainstream. Where most philosophers looked to reason and logic to apprehend the human mind, the Churchlands looked — and look — to science.

There is no independent “mind”, these two practically say, just the human brain, three pounds of tissue and water, firing away behind all our emotions, beliefs, actions. Consciousness itself, they say, is straight biology, a machine.

Once, that sounded esoteric. Now, it’s on the frontline of debate over law, soul and life.

This hour On Point: Pat and Paul Churchland on the mind as science.

Guests:

Paul and Patricia Churchland, professors of philosophy at the University of California at San Diego.

Colin McGinn, professor of philosophy at the University of Miami.

Please follow our community rules when engaging in comment discussion on this site.
ONPOINT
TODAY
May 3, 2016
Geri Taylor, camera in tow, at the Hoover Dam in 2014. Photography had been a sideline for 30 years, but now she could really devote time to it.
Courtesy, New York Times. MICHAEL KIRBY SMITH FOR THE NEW YORK TIMES.

We look at how one women prepares for the full onset of Alzheimer’s disease.

RECENT
SHOWS
May 2, 2016
A man walks on the rail tracks of a train station turned into a makeshift camp crowded by migrants and refugees, at the northern Greek border point of Idomeni, Greece, Friday, April 29, 2016. Many thousands of migrants remain at the Greek border with Macedonia, hoping that the border crossing will reopen, allowing them to move north into central Europe. (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)

A top former US diplomat says refugees and tribalism are pulling Europe apart and that the US needs to get involved- to help Europe by helping refugees.

 
Apr 29, 2016
Screengrab from the #MorethanMean video produced by Sarah Spain and Julie Dicaro. Scroll down to view the video.

Women pushing back. A video by two female sports reporters about online harassment goes viral.

On Point Blog
On Point Blog
Devoured: We Are What (And How) We Eat
Tuesday, May 3, 2016

From chicken wings to kale smoothies, we look at what we eat, and how challenging it is to eat well in America. Plus, what we’re learning about how our bodies fight to keep weight off.

More »
Comment
 
‘Embedded’: How Violent Gangs Are Terrorizing El Salvador
Thursday, Apr 14, 2016

NPR’s Kelly McEvers on her reporting in El Salvador for the podcast Embedded, and how gang killings brought San Salvador’s bus service to a halt.

More »
Comment
 
That Cheap Dress On Facebook? It Isn't Worth It
Monday, Apr 11, 2016

Know those shockingly cheap clothes you see advertised on Facebook? There’s a catch.

More »
Comment