The talk is somewhat misleadingly titled “Roger Scruton – Persons and their Brains”, but what he’s really concerned to do is point out the limits of neuroscience and justify a place for philosophy in the study of human behavior. Not sure if that’s a straw man or not, but he has some critical things to say of our podcast guest Patricia Churchland. Take a look:
So he leads with a bit of arrogance: “I’m English so I don’t see things like Americans,” which I guess is supposed to signal to us that he – what? If I interpret the subtext (pun intended, see below), he’s saying that he doesn’t worship at the church of science, like we Americans. Scruton refers to Churchland’s work and reiterates her question: What does philosophy have to contribute to our understanding of human mental processes, compared to neuroscience?