Bats in Mary’s Room

This link is to the spat going on between Patricia Churchland and Colin McGinn in the New York Review of Books.  Churchland says (of the armchair philosophers’ a priori debating stance), ‘What do the purists, like McGinn, object to? It is that their lovely a priori discipline, where they just talk to each other and maybe cobble together a thought experiment or two, is being sullied by…data’  Later, she says, ‘Some philosophers have elevated their favorite gap in neuroscience to the ontological status of an object, like the Black Hole in the Milky Way Galaxy, and hence they refer reverentially to the Explanatory Gap. Bosh. There are knowledge gaps all over the place, and slowly, many are closing as science proceeds.’

I think that this round definitely goes to Churchland on points.

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