From Function to Surface: Phenomenology of the thinking organ

Document Type : Original Article


Herzen State Pedagogical University


Neuroscience and its attendant subdisciplines, including, so it supposes, philosophy, hold that there is nothing more to self and society than what is in the brain. Yet two centuries have not resolved the philosophical objections to such claims, much less resolved the binding problem that would link mind and brain, or arrive at a general, materialist explanation of consciousness. Just as ideological and economic blinders beset this discipline, so they limit philosophy to account for the nature of this ‘thinking organ’ – what that means and if it can even exist. Taking the work of Hegel, Heidegger, Deleuze, neuroscientific results, I consider the phenomenology of the organ. I argue that an understanding of this object requires distinguishing concepts such as function and activity, capacity and regulation, surface and recognition. Results show that the ability to arrive at a thinking organ as organ is uncertain but worth the pursuit for the services done to science and ethics.


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