A philosopher and neuroscientist will be in Roanoke Thursday to share her views on the interface between the two subjects.
Patricia Churchland, a professor emerita at the University of California at San Diego, is the latest lecturer to come to Roanoke as part of the Virginia Tech Carilion Research Institute’s Visiting Distinguished Scholars’ series.
Her research focuses on understanding the biology of the brain as being essential to understanding the mind. Her public talk, Thursday at 5:30 p.m., is titled “How the mind makes morals.”
The title leads me to think that she will be focusing on the themes that are found in her recently published book “Braintrust: What neuroscience tells us about morality.”
“She is truly world famous as a thought leader, speaker and innovator in neurophilosophy,” Michael Friedlander, the research institute’s executive director, told me.
She also has her critics.
An article this month in The Chronicle of Higher Education quoted the physician-philosopher Raymond Tallis as calling her the “Queen of Neuromania.”
Bonus: Here’s a profile of her that published in June.