Author Archives: Yohan

About Yohan

I'm a neuroscience postdoc at the Neural Systems Laboratory in Boston University. My PhD was in Cognitive and Neural Systems, and my work involves computational neural network modeling, mostly of cognitive-emotional interaction. Apart from neuroscience, I spend a lot of time engaging with music, history, politics, philosophy, and religion.

Is the mind a machine?

My latest 3QD essay explores the “mind as machine” metaphor, and metaphors in general. Putting the “cog” in “cognitive”: on the “mind as machine” metaphor Here’s an excerpt: People who study the mind and brain often confront the limits of … Continue reading

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Ways of Knowing

Here is an excerpt from my latest 3QD essay: “To attempt an understanding of understanding, I think it might make sense to situate our verbal forms of knowledge-generation in the wider world of knowing: a world that includes the forms … Continue reading

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The “Streetlight Effect”: a metaphor for knowledge and ignorance

Here’s the beginning of my latest 3QD piece: There is a story that I think anyone interested in human knowledge ought to know. It comes in many forms. Here is one version, incarnated as a joke: ‘A policeman sees a … Continue reading

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What do we mean by “Nature”? And what do we mean by “Human Nature”?

Here’s the intro to my latest 3QD essay: I’ve always had a problem with the word ‘nature’. It seems to serve as a label for multiple, mutually inconsistent notions. This in itself is not a reason to dislike a word … Continue reading

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Me and My Brain: What the “Double-Subject Fallacy” reveals about contemporary conceptions of the Self

My latest essay for 3 Quarks Daily is up: Me and My Brain: What the “Double-Subject Fallacy” reveals about contemporary conceptions of the Self Here’s an excerpt: What is a person? Does each of us have some fundamental essence? Is … Continue reading

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Is neuroscience really ruining the humanities?

For my latest 3QD post, I expanded on my answer to a Quora question: Is neuroscience ruining the humanities? Here’s an excerpt: “Neuroscience is ruining the humanities”. This was the provocative title of a recent article by Arthur Krystal in … Continue reading

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Science: The Quest for Symmetry

My latest 3QD post is up. This time I’m talking about symmetry and its relationship with science. Here’s a snippet: Attitudes toward science in the public sphere occupy an interesting spectrum. At one extreme there are the cheerleaders — those who … Continue reading

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