Capital Consortium for Neuroscience: Ethical, Legal and Social Issues

Friday, November 19, 2010
4:00- 6PM

Neuropragmatism - A Practical Approach to Neuroethical Problems

Neuropragmatism updates the philosophy of pragmatism with the latest insights from the cognitive sciences and neuroscience. Since pragmatism originated together with experimental and brain psychology, pragmatism has always been in closest harmony with science's understanding of brain functioning. Like classical pragmatism, neuropragmatism enjoys re-confirmations of its anti-Cartesianism and biological functionalism; its integration of reason, emotion, and will; its theory of agent responsibility without excessive rationalism or mysterious free will; its understanding of knowledge as the result of practical interaction with the environment; and its emphasis on distributed and social epistemology. Neuropragmatism advances its agenda by eliminating philosophical notions proven incompatible with the behavioral and brain sciences, and by reforming theories of human intelligence and social relationships accordingly. Neuropragmatism can continue to be the reforming edge of philosophical thought by taking evolutionary naturalism most seriously..

Speaker Information

John Shook, Ph.D.

John Shook, PhD, is a scholar and professor living in Washington, D.C. He is Director of Education and Senior Research Fellow of the Center for Inquiry, and also is Visiting Assistant Professor of Science Education at the University at Buffalo, teaching for its online program in Science and the Public. From 2000 to 2006 he was a professor of philosophy at Oklahoma State University. Shook publishes on philosophical topics about science, naturalism, pragmatism, philosophy of mind, ethics, democracy, humanism, and religion. He has authored and edited more than a dozen books, including Pragmatic Naturalism and Realism (2003), A Companion to Pragmatism (2005), Dictionary of Modern American Philosophers (2005), Ectogenesis: Artificial Womb Technology and the Future of Human Reproduction (2006), The Future of Naturalism (2009), and The God Debates (2010).


For additional information, tentative schedule, media access, or to register, please contact Guillermo Palchik at