notredame | Neuroscience is the study of the physiological mechanisms that give rise to a manifold of human capacities, including perception, memory, vision and the emotions. To achieve the goals of scientific understanding, neuroscientists must of necessity advance claims and hypotheses which are subjected to scientific experiment. In addition to experimental techniques, neuroscientists need a conceptual framework within which to make sense of the results of their empirical work. In short, a necessary complement to empirical research is a coherent conception of the phenomena under investigation, that is, human psychological capacities.
Bennett - a distinguished neuroscientist - and Hacker - the preeminent scholar of Wittgenstein's thought - have teamed up to produce a withering attack on the conception of the mental that lies at the heart of contemporary neuroscience. Although neuroscientists are committed materialists, and adamantly insist on this aspect of their anti-Cartesianism, they have, Bennett and Hacker argue, merely jettisoned the dual substance doctrine of Cartesianism, but retained its faulty structure with respect to the relation of mind and behavior.