2008 : WHAT HAVE YOU CHANGED YOUR MIND ABOUT? WHY?

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Psychologist, University of Massachusetts, Amherst; Author, The Cognitive Brain
Psychologist, University of Massachusetts, Amherst; Author: The Cognitive Brain

I have never questioned the conventional view that a good grounding in the physical sciences is needed for a deep understanding of the biological sciences. It did not occur to me that the opposite view might also be true. If someone were to have asked me if biological knowledge might significantly influence my understanding of our basic physical sciences, I would have denied it.

Now I am convinced that the future understanding of our most important physical principles will be profoundly shaped by what we learn in the living realm of biology. What have changed my mind are the relatively recent developments in the theoretical constructs and empirical findings in the sciences of the brain — the biological foundation of all thought. Progress here can cast new light on the fundamental subjective factors that constrain our scientific formulations in what we take to be an objective enterprise.