Churchland, Paul
 
 
(Ph.D. philosophy, University of Pittsburgh, 1969). Churchland is famous for championing the thesis that our everyday, common-sense, ‘folk’ psychology, which seeks to explain human behavior in terms of the beliefs and desires of agents, is actually a deeply flawed theory that must be eliminated in favor of a mature cognitive neuroscience.
 

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From 1966 onward, Churchland taught at different universities in the U.S. and Canada, and he became full professor at the University of Manitoba in 1979. In 1984, he moved to UC, San Diego, where he has been Professor of Philosophy since. Churchland is famous for championing the thesis that our everyday, common-sense, ‘folk’ psychology, which seeks to explain human behavior in terms of the beliefs and desires of agents, is actually a deeply flawed theory that must be eliminated in favor of a mature cognitive neuroscience. Churchland first suggests this thesis in his 1979 book Scientific Realism and the Plasticity of Mind. The eliminativist thesis is perhaps most explicitly formulated in his 1981, Journal of Philosophy paper, "Eliminative Materialism and the Propositional Attitudes." In the 1980s, Churchland began to champion a specific type of neurocomputational theory as a source of answers to traditional problems in the philosophy of mind and of science. His book A Neurocomputational Perspective (1989) applies the insights of connectionist neurocomputational models to traditional philosophical problems, like the problem of theory change in science. His latest book, The Engine of Reason, The Seat of the Soul (1995), surveys new work in the neurosciences that is giving shape to a new picture of the mind, and discusses the social and moral dimensions of recent experimental results that assign consciousness to all but the very simplest forms of animals.
 
 
Tadeusz Zawidzki