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4.5. Psychophysical Reduction (Psychophysical Reduction on PhilPapers)

Bates, Jared (2009). A defence of the explanatory argument for physicalism. Philosophical Quarterly 59 (235):315-324.   (Google)
Abstract: One argument for reductive physicalism, the explanatory argument, rests on its ability to explain the vast and growing body of acknowledged psychophysical correlations. Jaegwon Kim has recently levelled four objections against the explanatory argument. I assess all of Kim's objections, showing that none is successful. The result is a defence of the explanatory argument for physicalism

4.5a Nonreductive Materialism

Antony, Louise M. (2007). Everybody has got it: A defense of non-reductive materialism. In Brian P. McLaughlin & Jonathan D. Cohen (eds.), Contemporary Debates in Philosophy of Mind. Blackwell.   (Google)
Antony, Louise M. (1999). Making room for the mental. Philosophical Studies 95 (1-2):37-44.   (Cited by 5 | Google | More links)
Baker, Lynne Rudder, Nonreductive materialism I. introduction.   (Google)
Abstract: The expression ‘nonreductive materialism’ refers to a variety of positions whose roots lie in attempts to solve the mind-body problem. Proponents of nonreductive materialism hold that the mental is ontologically part of the material world; yet, mental properties are causally efficacious without being reducible to physical properties.s After setting out a minimal schema for nonreductive materialism (NRM) as an ontological position, I’ll canvass some classical arguments in favor of (NRM).1 Then, I’ll discuss the major challenge facing any construal of (NRM): the problem of mental causation, pressed by Jaegwon Kim. Finally, I’ll offer a new solution to the problem of mental causation
Baker, Lynne Rudder (2006). Review of Nancey Murphy, Bodies and Souls, or Spirited Bodies?. Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews 2006 (8).   (Google)
Barrett, J. (1995). Causal relevance and nonreductive physicalism. Erkenntnis 42 (3):339-62.   (Cited by 3 | Google | More links)
Abstract:   It has been argued that nonreductive physicalism leads to epiphenominalism about mental properties: the view that mental events cannot cause behavioral effects by virtue of their mental properties. Recently, attempts have been made to develop accounts of causal relevance for irreducible properties to show that mental properties need not be epiphenomenal. In this paper, I primarily discuss the account of Frank Jackson and Philip Pettit. I show how it can be developed to meet several obvious objections and to capture our intuitive conception of degrees of causal relevance. However, I argue that the account requires large-scale miraculous coincidence for there to be causally relevant mental properties. I also argue that the same problem arises for two apparently very different accounts of causal relevance. I suggest that this result does not show that these accounts, on appropriate readings, are false. Therefore, I tentatively conclude that we have reason to believe that irreducible mental properties are causally irrelevant. Moreover, given that there is at leastprima facie evidence that mental properties can be causally relevant, my conclusion casts doubt on nonreductive physicalist theories of mental properties
Beckermann, Ansgar; Flohr, Hans & Kim, Jaegwon (1992). Emergence or Reduction?: Prospects for Nonreductive Physicalism. De Gruyter.   (Cited by 26 | Google)
Beckermann, Ansgar; Flohr, H. & Kim, Jaegwon (eds.) (1992). Emergence or Reduction?: Essays on the Prospects of Nonreductive Physicalism. W. De Gruyter.   (Google)
Beckermann, Ansgar (1992). Reductive and nonreductive physicalism. In Ansgar Beckermann, Hans Flohr & Jaegwon Kim (eds.), Emergence or Reduction?: Prospects for Nonreductive Physicalism. De Gruyter.   (Cited by 2 | Google)
Bielfeldt, Dennis D. (1999). Nancey Murphy's nonreductive physicalism. Zygon 34 (4):619-628.   (Cited by 4 | Google | More links)
Boyd, Robert (1980). Materialism without reductionism: What physicalism does not entail. In Ned Block (ed.), Readings in the Philosophy of Psychology. , Vol 1.   (Cited by 43 | Annotation | Google)
Brigandt, Ingo (forthcoming). Beyond reduction and pluralism: Toward an epistemology of explanatory integration in biology. Erkenntnis.   (Google | More links)
Abstract: The paper works towards an account of explanatory integration in biology, using as a case study explanations of the evolutionary origin of novelties-a problem requiring the integration of several biological fields and approaches. In contrast to the idea that fields studying lower level phenomena are always more fundamental in explanations, I argue that the particular combination of disciplines and theoretical approaches needed to address a complex biological problem and which among them is explanatorily more fundamental varies with the problem pursued. Solving a complex problem need not require theoretical unification or the stable synthesis of different biological fields, as items of knowledge from traditional disciplines can be related solely for the purposes of a specific problem. Apart from the development of genuine interfield theories, successful integration can be effected by smaller epistemic units (concepts, methods, explanations) being linked. Unification or integration is not an aim in itself, but needed for the aim of solving a particular scientific problem, where the problem's nature determines the kind of intellectual integration required
Clarke, Randolph (1999). Nonreductive physicalism and the causal powers of the mental. Erkenntnis 51 (2-3):295-322.   (Cited by 8 | Google | More links)
Abstract:   Nonreductive physicalism is currently one of the most widely held views about the world in general and about the status of the mental in particular. However, the view has recently faced a series of powerful criticisms from, among others, Jaegwon Kim. In several papers, Kim has argued that the nonreductivist's view of the mental is an unstable position, one harboring contradictions that push it either to reductivism or to eliminativism. The problems arise, Kim maintains, when we consider the causal powers that mental properties are held to carry on the nonreductivist's view and the causal transactions into which mental events are said to enter. My aim here is less than that of defending nonreductive physicalism against all of Kim's criticisms. I wish primarily to call into question the claim that nonreductive physicalism is committed to emergentism with respect to the causal powers of the mental. As subsidiary points, I shall offer a limited defense of nonreductivism against two related objections that Kim raises. However, even if my conclusions are correct, problems remain for the nonreductivist's treatment of mental causation. I shall close the paper with a brief discussion of these difficulties
Dupre, John (1988). Materialism, physicalism, and scientism. Philosophical Topics 16:31-56.   (Annotation | Google)
Earley, Joseph, How philosophy of mind needs philosophy of chemistry.   (Google | More links)
Abstract: By the 1960s many (perhaps most) philosophers had adopted ‘physicalism’ ─ the view that physical causes fully account for mental activities. However, controversy persists about what count as ‘physical causes’. ‘Reductive’ physicalists recognize only microphysical (elementary-particle-level) causality. Many (perhaps most) physicalists are ‘non-reductive’ ─ they hold that entities considered by other (‘special’) sciences have causal powers. Philosophy of chemistry can help resolve main issues in philosophy of mind in three ways: developing an extended mereology applicable to chemical combination, testing whether ‘singularities’ prevent reduction of chemistry to microphysics, and demonstrating ‘downward causation’ in complex networks of chemical reactions
Eckardt, BarbaraVon (1981). Review article. Margolis on persons and nonreductive materialism. Metaphilosophy 12 (2):169–180.   (Google | More links)
Ellis, Ralph D. (2000). Consciousness, self-organization, and the process-substratum relation: Rethinking nonreductive physicalism. Philosophical Psychology 13 (2):173-190.   (Cited by 9 | Google | More links)
Abstract: Knowing only what is empirically knowable can't by itself entail knowledge of what consciousness "is like." But if dualism is to be avoided, the question arises: how can a process be completely empirically unobservable when all of its components are completely observable? The recently emerging theory of self-organization offers resources with which to resolve this problem: Consciousness can be an empirically unobservable process because the emotions motivating attention are experienced only from the perspective of the one whose phenomenal states are executed by the self-organizing processes which themselves constitute the consciousness. I argue that a self-organizing process can differ from the sum of its (empirically observable) substrata because, rather than just being realized by them, it actively rearranges the background conditions under which alternative component causal sequences can realize the self-organizing pattern into the future
Ellis, Ralph D. (1999). Why isn't consciousness empirically observable? Emotion, self-organization, and nonreductive physicalism. Journal of Mind and Behavior 20 (4):391-402.   (Google)
Elshof, Ten G. (1997). Supervenient difficulties with nonreductive physicalism: A critical analysis of supervenience physicalism. Kinesis 24 (1):3-22.   (Google)
Endicott, Ronald P. (2007). Nomic-Role Nonreductionism: Identifying Properties by Total Nomic Roles. Philosophical Topics 35 (1&2):217-240.   (Google)
Abstract: Inspired by recent theories of embodied cognition that emphasize matters of a mind's engineering realization, I introduce "nomic-role nonreductionism" as an alternative to traditional causal-role functionalism in the philosophy of mind. Rather than identify mental properties by a theory that describes their intra-level causal roles via types of inputs, internal states, and outputs, I suggest that one identify mental properties by a more comprehensive theory that also describes inter-level realization roles via types of lower-level engineering, internal mental states, and still higher-level states generated by them. I defend this position on grounds that mental properties should be understood by our best scientific theories, which at present include informatioin about mental engineering. I further defend this claim by a "parity of reasons" argument. Causal-role functionalists are justified to include sensory stimuli in their theory of mind as opposed to, say, the remote causes of sensory stimuli because the former but not the latter are items of direct mental production. But ditto for the system's physical realizations. They too directly produce mental states, only not by "causing" them but by "realizing" them. Engineering realizations and their input triggering conditions work in tandem. In addition, I tell a related but more general metaphysical story about property identity, namely, that the traditional causal theory should be replaced by a more comprehensive nomic theory that individuates properties by their intra-level causal powers as well as their inter-level realization capacities.
Fodor, Jerry A. (1974). Special sciences. Synthese 28:97-115.   (Cited by 437 | Annotation | Google | More links)
Francescotti, Robert M. (1998). The nonreductionist's troubles with supervenience. Philosophical Studies 89 (1):105-24.   (Google)
Gillett, Carl & Rives, Bradley (2001). Does the argument from realization generalize? Responses to Kim. Southern Journal of Philosophy 39 (1):79-98.   (Cited by 10 | Google)
Abstract: By quantifying over properties we cannot create new properties any more than by quantifying over individuals we can create new individuals. Someone murdered Jones, and the murderer is either Smith or Jones or Wang. That “someone”, who murdered Jones, is not a person in addition to Smith, Jones, and Wang, and it would be absurd to posit a disjunctive person, Smith-or-Jones-or-Wang, with whom to identify the murderer. The same goes for second-order properties and their realizers. (Kim (1997a), p.201)
Gillett, Carl (2003). Nonreductive realization and nonreductive identity: What physicalism does not entail. In Sven Walter & Heinz-Dieter Heckmann (eds.), Physicalism and Mental Causation. Imprint Academic.   (Cited by 8 | Google)
Healey, Richard A. (1978). Physicalist imperialism. Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 79:191-211.   (Cited by 1 | Google)
Horgan, Terence E. (1994). Nonreductive materialism. In Richard Warner & Tadeusz Szubka (eds.), The Mind-Body Problem: A Guide to the Current Debate. Blackwell.   (Cited by 9 | Google)
Horgan, Terence E. (1993). Nonreductive materialism and the explanatory autonomy of psychology. In Steven J. Wagner & Richard Warner (eds.), Naturalism: A Critical Appraisal. University of Notre Dame Press.   (Cited by 29 | Annotation | Google)
Hunter, David (2001). Mind-brain identity and the nature of states. Australasian Journal of Philosophy 79 (3):366 – 376.   (Cited by 1 | Google | More links)
Johansson, Ingvar (2001). Hartmann's nonreductive materialism, superimposition, and supervenience. Axiomathes 12 (3-4).   (Cited by 2 | Google | More links)
Karakus, Attila & Vieth, Andreas (2005). Is Rorty's non-reductive naturalism reductive? In Richard Rorty: His Philosophy Under Discussion. Verlag.   (Google)
Kernohan, Andrew (1988). Non-reductive materialism and the spectrum of mind-body identity theories. Dialogue 27:475-88.   (Cited by 1 | Annotation | Google)
Kim, Jaegwon (1992). "Downward causation" in emergentism and nonreductive physicalism. In Ansgar Beckermann, Hans Flohr & Jaegwon Kim (eds.), Emergence or Reduction?: Prospects for Nonreductive Physicalism. De Gruyter.   (Cited by 34 | Google)
Kim, Jaegwon (1989). The myth of non-reductive materialism. Proceedings and Addresses of the American Philosophical Association 63 (3):31-47.   (Cited by 122 | Annotation | Google | More links)
Kim, Jaegwon (1992). The nonreductivist's trouble with mental causation. In John Heil & Alfred R. Mele (eds.), Mental Causation. Oxford University Press.   (Annotation | Google)
Kirk, Robert E. (1996). How physicalists can avoid reductionism. Synthese 108 (2):157-70.   (Cited by 5 | Annotation | Google | More links)
Abstract:   Kim maintains that a physicalist has only two genuine options, eliminativism and reductionism. But physicalists can reject both by using the Strict Implication thesis (SI). Discussing his arguments will help to show what useful work SI can do.(1) His discussion of anomalous monism depends on an unexamined assumption to the effect that SI is false
Kirk, Robert E. (2001). Nonreductive physicalism and strict implication. Australasian Journal of Philosophy 79 (4):544-552.   (Cited by 7 | Google | More links)
Knowles, Jonathan (1999). Physicalism, teleology and the miraculous coincidence problem. Philosophical Quarterly 50 (195):164-81.   (Cited by 3 | Google | More links)
Lennon, Kathleen (1984). Anti-reductionist materialism. Inquiry 27 (December):363-380.   (Cited by 1 | Google)
Loar, Brian (1992). Elimination versus nonreductive physicalism. In David Charles & Kathleen Lennon (eds.), Reduction, Explanation and Realism. Oxford University Press.   (Cited by 7 | Google)
Mainwood, Paul (online). How is non-reductive physicalism possible.   (Google)
Marras, Ausonio (2007). Kim's supervenience argument and nonreductive physicalism. Erkenntnis 66 (3).   (Cited by 1 | Google | More links)
Abstract: The aim of this paper is to show that Kim’s ‚supervenience argument’ is at best inconclusive and so fails to provide an adequate challenge to nonreductive physicalism. I shall argue, first, that Kim’s argument rests on assumptions that the nonreductive physicalist is entitled to regard as question-begging; second, that even if those assumptions are granted, it is not clear that irreducible mental causes fail to␣satisfy them; and, third, that since the argument has the overall structure of a reductio, which of its various premises one performs the reductio on remains open to debate in an interesting way. I shall finally suggest that the issue of reductive vs. nonreductive physicalism is best contested not in the arena of mental causation but in that in which the issues pertaining to theory and property reduction are currently being debated
Markic, Olga (2002). Nonreductive materialism and the problem of causal exclusion. Grazer Philosophische Studien 63 (1):79-88.   (Google | More links)
Abstract: In this paper I examine nonreductive materialism (physicalism). This is a position that Terry Horgan favors in his papers and is probably the most widely accepted position in the philosophy of mind in recent decades. In contrast to this, I will argue that nonreductive materialism is an unstable position and will suggest that we can show this using Horgan's own work on the concept of superdupervenience
Marras, Ausonio (1994). Nonreductive materialism and mental causation. Canadian Journal of Philosophy 24 (3):465-93.   (Cited by 6 | Google)
Margolis, Joseph (1978). Persons and Minds: The Prospects of Non-Reductive Materialism. D.   (Cited by 16 | Google)
Marras, Ausonio (1993). Psychophysical supervenience and nonreductive materialism. Synthese 95 (2):275-304.   (Cited by 8 | Google | More links)
Abstract:   Jaegwon Kim and others have claimed that (strong) psychophysical supervenience entails the reducibility of mental properties to physical properties. I argue that this claim is unwarranted with respect to epistemic (explanatory) reducibility (either of a global or of a local sort), as well as with respect to ontological reducibility. I then attempt to show that a robust version of nonreductive materialism (which I call supervenient token-physicalism) can be defended against the charge that nonreductive materialism leads to epiphenomenalism in failing to account for the causal or explanatory relevance of mental properties
Melnyk, Andrew (2008). Can physicalism be non-reductive? Philosophy Compass 3 (6):1281-1296.   (Google)
Abstract: Can physicalism (or materialism) be non-reductive? I provide an opinionated survey of the debate on this question. I suggest that attempts to formulate non-reductive physicalism by appeal to claims of event identity, supervenience, or realization have produced doctrines that fail either to be physicalist or to be non-reductive. Then I treat in more detail a recent attempt to formulate non-reductive physicalism by Derk Pereboom, but argue that it fares no better
Melnyk, Andrew (1995). Two cheers for reductionism, or, the dim prospects for nonreductive materialism. Philosophy of Science 62 (3):370-88.   (Cited by 10 | Google | More links)
Melnyk, Andrew (1998). The prospects for Kirk's nonreductive physicalism. Australasian Journal of Philosophy 76 (2):323-32.   (Cited by 1 | Google | More links)
O'Connor, Timothy & Churchil, John Ross (2009). Nonreductive physicalism or emergent dualism : The argument from mental causation. In Robert C. Koons & George Bealer (eds.), The Waning of Materialism: New Essays. Oxford University Press.   (Google)
Papineau, David (1992). Irreducibility and teleology. In David Charles & Kathleen Lennon (eds.), Reduction, Explanation and Realism. Oxford University Press.   (Cited by 9 | Annotation | Google)
Pereboom, Derk (2002). Robust nonreductive materialism. Journal of Philosophy 99 (10):499-531.   (Cited by 17 | Google | More links)
Pereboom, Derk & Kornblith, Hilary (1991). The metaphysics of irreducibility. Philosophical Studies 63 (August):125-45.   (Cited by 24 | Annotation | Google | More links)
Abstract: During the 'sixties and 'seventies, Hilary Putnam, Jerry Fodor, and Richard Boyd, among others, developed a type of materialism that eschews reductionist claims.1 In this view, explana- tions, natural kinds, and properties in psychology do not reduce to counterparts in more basic sciences, such as neurophysiology or physics. Nevertheless, all token psychological entities-- states, processes, and faculties--are wholly constituted of physical entities, ultimately out of entities over which microphysics quantifies. This view quickly became the standard position in philosophy of mind, and reductionism fell out of favor. Recently, however, reductionism has been experiencing a rebirth, and many have suggested that the non-reductive approach was accepted too quickly and too uncritically. In this paper, we attempt to provide a more thorough account of the anti-reductionist position, and, in the process, to defend it against its recent critics
Pineda, David (2001). Functionalism and nonreductive physicalism. Theoria 16 (40):43-63.   (Cited by 1 | Google | More links)
Abstract: Most philosophers of mind nowadays espouse two metaphysical views: Nonreductive Physicalism and the causal efficacy of the mental. Throughout this work I will refer to the conjunction of both claims as the Causal Autonomy of the Mental. Nevertheless, this position is threatened by a number of difficulties which are far more serious than one would imagine given the broad consensus that it has generated during the last decades. This paper purports to offer a careful examination of some of these difficulties and show the considerable efforts that one has to undertake in order to try to overcome them. The difficulties examined will concern only metaphysical problems common to all special science properties but not specific of mental properties. So, in proposing a functionalist version of Nonreductive Physicalism in what follows, I will not attempt to answer to well known objections such as the absent qualia argument and the like. This should not be interpreted as a limitation! in the scope of this work. On the contrary, in dealing with more general objections we will try to evaluate a position which entails (under common assumptions) the Causal Autonomy of the Mental, namely: Nonreductive Physicalism plus the causal efficacy of special science properties
Porpora, Douglas V. (1982). Nonreductive materialism and the materialisms of Marx and Heidegger. Human Studies 5 (1).   (Google)
Raymont, Paul (2003). Kim on closure, exclusion, and nonreductive physicalism. In Sven Walter & Heinz-Dieter Heckmann (eds.), Physicalism and Mental Causation. Imprint Academic.   (Google)
Raymont, Paul (2003). Kim on overdetermination, exclusion, and nonreductive physicalism. In Sven Walter & Heinz-Dieter Heckmann (eds.), Physicalism and Mental Causation. Imprint Academic.   (Cited by 1 | Google)
Robinson, Howard M. (2001). Davidson and nonreductive materialism: A tale of two cultures. In Carl Gillett & Barry M. Loewer (eds.), Physicalism and its Discontents. Cambridge University Press.   (Google | More links)
Rosenberg, Alex (2005). How to reconcile physicalism and antireductionism about biology. Philosophy Of Science 72 (1):43-68.   (Cited by 5 | Google | More links)
Abstract: Physicalism and antireductionism are the ruling orthodoxy in the philosophy of biology. But these two theses are difficult to reconcile. Merely embracing an epistemic antireductionism will not suffice, as both reductionists and antireductionists accept that given our cognitive interests and limitations, non-molecular explanations may not be improved, corrected or grounded in molecular ones. Moreover, antireductionists themselves view their claim as a metaphysical or ontological one about the existence of facts molecular biology cannot identify, express, or explain. However, this is tantamount to a rejection of physicalism and so causes the antireductionist discomfort. In this paper we argue that vindicating physicalism requires a physicalistic account of the principle of natural selection, and we provide such an account. The most important pay-off to the account is that it provides for the very sort of autonomy from the physical that antireductionists need without threatening their commitment to physicalism
Silvers, Stuart (1997). Nonreductive naturalism. Theoria 12 (28):163-84.   (Google | More links)
Abstract: Nonreductive naturalism holds that we can preserve the (scientifically valued) metaphysical truth of physicalism while averting the methodological mistakes of reductionism. Acceptable scientificexplanation need not (in some cases cannot and in many cases, should not) be formulated in the language of physical science. Persuasive arguments about the properties of phenomenal consciousnesspurport to show that physicalism is false, namely that phenomenal experience is a nonphysical fact. I examine two recent, comprehensive efforts to naturalize phenomenal consciousness and argue thatnonreductive naturalism yields a dilemma of reductionism or panpsychism
Slors, Marc (2003). Epiphenomenalism and cross-realization induction. Grazer Philosophische Studien 65 (1):15-36.   (Google)
Abstract: In the first part of this paper I argue that epiphenomenalism does not pose a threat to nonreductive physicalism, if type-epiphenomenalism does not imply the redundancy of mental (or in general higher-level) typing of events and/or states. Furthermore, if justifiable induction over folk-psychological regularities is possible independently of the ways in which these regularities are realized, type-epiphenomenalism does not imply the redundancy ofmental typing. Inthe second part of this paper I explain how justifiable 'cross-realization induction' can be possible. This explanation does what none of the currently available ones can: combine the generally accepted ideas that (i) folk-psychology is a successful means of predicting, explaining, and understanding human behaviour and (ii) that mental states are multiply realized. Given these two steps, it is relatively safe to say that there is no epiphe-nomenalism-threat to nonreductive physicalism
Smith, A. D. (1993). Non-reductive physicalism? In Howard M. Robinson (ed.), Objections to Physicalism. Oxford University Press.   (Cited by 5 | Annotation | Google)
Stephan, Achim (2001). How to lose the mind-body problem. Grazer Philosophische Studien 61:279-283.   (Google)
Ten Elshof, Gregg (1997). Supervenient difficulties with nonreductive materialism: A critical appraisal of supervenience-physicalism. Kinesis 24 (1):3-22.   (Google)
Trogdon, Kelly (2009). Physicalsim and sparse ontology. Philosophical Studies 143 (2):147-165.   (Google)
Abstract: A major stumbling block for non-reductive physicalism is Kim’s disjunctive property objection. In this paper I bring certain issues in sparse ontology to bear on the objection, in particular the theses of priority monism and priority pluralism. Priority pluralism (or something close to it, anyway) is a common ontological background assumption, so in the first part of the paper I consider whether the disjunctive property objection applies with equal force to non-reductive physicalism on the assumption that priority monism is instead true. I ultimately conclude that non-reductive physicalism still faces a comparable problem. In the second part, I argue, surprisingly enough, that what I call ‘fine-grained reductionism’, a particular version of which Kim proposes as an alternative to non-reductive physicalism, may work better in the monist framework than the pluralist one. I conclude that issues in sparse ontology, therefore, are more relevant to the debate about physicalism than one may have thought
van Gulick, Robert (2002). Nonreduction, consciousness and physical causation. Journal of Consciousness Studies 9 (11):41-49.   (Google)
van Gulick, Robert (1992). Nonreductive materialism and the nature of intertheoretical constraint. In Ansgar Beckermann, Hans Flohr & Jaegwon Kim (eds.), Emergence or Reduction?: Prospects for Nonreductive Physicalism. De Gruyter.   (Cited by 19 | Google)
Wacome, Donald H. (2004). Reductionism's demise: Cold comfort. Zygon 39 (2):321-337.   (Cited by 2 | Google | More links)
Walter, Sven (2006). Causal exclusion as an argument against non-reductive physicalism. Journal of Consciousness Studies 13 (1-2):67-83.   (Cited by 3 | Google)
Wedgwood, Ralph (2000). The price of non-reductive physicalism. Noûs 34 (3):400-421.   (Cited by 3 | Google | More links)
Williamson, Francis X. (1998). Autonomy, reduction and the artificiality of mental properties. South African Journal of Philosophy 17 (1):1-7.   (Google)
Wilson, Jessica M. (2009). Determination, realization and mental causation. Philosophical Studies 145 (1):149--169.   (Google | More links)
Abstract: How can mental properties bring about physical effects, as they seem to do, given that the physical realizers of the mental goings-on are already sufficient to cause these effects? This question gives rise to the problem of mental causation (MC) and its associated threats of causal overdetermination, mental causal exclusion, and mental causal irrelevance. Some (e.g., Cynthia and Graham Macdonald, and Stephen Yablo) have suggested that understanding mental-physical realization in terms of the determinable/determinate relation (henceforth, ‘determination’) provides the key to solving the problem of MC: if mental properties are determinables of their physical realizers, then (since determinables and determinates are distinct, yet don’t causally compete) all three threats may be avoided. Not everyone agrees that determination can do this good work, however. Some (e.g., Douglas Ehring, Eric Funkhauser, and Sven Walter) object that mental-physical realization can’t be determination, since such realization lacks one or other characteristic feature of determination. I argue that on a proper understanding of the features of determination key to solving the problem of MC these arguments can be resisted
Wilson, Jessica M. (1999). How superduper does a physicalist supervenience need to be? Philosophical Quarterly 50 (194):33-52.   (Cited by 18 | Google | More links)
Abstract: The standard formulations of the supervenience relation present the supervenience of one set of properties on another in terms of property correlations, without placing any constraints on the dependency relation concerned. As Horgan notes, this does not ensure that properties supervening upon physicalistically acceptable base properties are not themselves emergent in a way at odds with materialism; hence he concludes that what physicalism needs is "superdupervenience" -- supervenience plus robust ontological explanation of the supervenient in terms of the base properties. I argue that, where supervenient and base properties are instanced in the same individuals, Horgan's requirement of robust explanation is neither sufficient nor necessary for superdupervenience. In particular, his paradigm case is compatible with the supervenient property's being emergent. This and other unacceptable possibilities may be ruled out by means of a metaphysical constraint on the supervenience relation: each individual causal power in the set associated with a given supervenient property must be numerically identical with a causal power in the set associated with its base property. Satisfying this condition is all that is needed to render supervenience superduper. I go on to show that a wide variety of physicalist accounts, both reductive and non-reductive, are implicitly or explicitly designed to meet this condition, and so are more similar than they seem
Wilson, Jessica M., Non-reductive physicalism and degrees of freedom.   (Google | More links)
Abstract: Some claim that NRP is an unstable position, either collapsing into reductive physicalism (so denying Non-reduction) or expanding into emergentism of a robust or “strong” variety (so denying Physicalism).2 I argue here that this claim is unfounded. NRP occupies a viable middle ground between reductive physicalism and robust emergentism, according to which some phenomena are (as I will sometimes put it) ‘weakly..
Wilson, Jessica M. (ms). Non-reductive Realization and the Powers-based Subset Strategy.   (Google)
Abstract: I argue that an adequate account of non-reductive realization must guarantee satisfaction of a certain condition on the token causal powers associated with (instances of) realized and realizing entities---namely, what I call the 'Subset Condition on Causal Powers'. In terms of states, the condition requires that the token powers had by a realized state on a given occasion be a proper subset of the token powers had by the state that realizes it on that occasion. Accounts of non-reductive realization conforming to this condition are implementing what I call 'the powers-based subset strategy'. I focus on the crucial case involving mental and brain states; the results may be generalized, as appropriate. I first situate and motivate the strategy by attention to the problem of mental causation; I make the case, in schematic terms, that implementation of the strategy makes room (contra Kim 1989, 1993, 1998, and elsewhere) for mental states to be ontologically and causally autonomous from their realizing physical states, without inducing problematic causal overdetermination, and compatible with both Physicalism and Non-reduction; and I show that several contemporary accounts of non-reductive realization (in terms of functional realization, parthood, and the determinable/determinate relation) are plausibly seen as implementing the strategy. As I also show, implementation of the powers-based strategy does not require endorsement of any particular accounts of either properties or causation---indeed, a categoricalist contingentist Humean can implement the strategy. The schematic location of the strategy in the space of available responses to the problem of mental (more generally, higher-level) causation, as well as the fact that the schema may be metaphysically instantiated, strongly suggests that the strategy is, appropriately generalized and instantiated, sufficient and moreover necessary for non-reductive realization. I go on to defend the sufficiency and necessity claims against a variety of objections, considering, along the way, how the powers-based subset strategy fares against competing accounts of purportedly non-reductive realization in terms of supervenience, token identity, and constitution.
Wilson, Jessica M. (2005). Supervenience-based formulations of physicalism. Noûs 39 (3):426-459.   (Cited by 9 | Google | More links)
Abstract: The many and varied formulations of physicalism instantiate the following schema: Physicalism: All entities are nothing over and above physical entities. Supervenience-based accounts of “nothing over and aboveness” also instantiate a schema: Supervenience-based Nothing Over and Aboveness: The A-entities are nothing over and above the B-entities if the A-entities supervene on the B-entities. The four main approaches to filling in the latter schema correspond to different ways of characterizing the modal strength, the supervenience base, or the supervenience connection at issue. I consider each approach in turn, and argue that a physicalism based on the associated account of nothing over and aboveness is compatible with physicalism’s best traditional rival: a naturalist emergentism. Others have argued that supervenience-based formulations of physicalism fail. My aim here, besides addressing the full spectrum of supervenience-based approaches, is to show how certain philosophical and scientific theses concerning naturalism, properties, and laws give us new reasons to think that supervenience-based formulations of physicalism are untenable.
Witmer, D. Gene (2004). Review of Andrew Melnyk, A Physicalist Manifesto: Thoroughly Modern Materialism. Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews 2004 (6).   (Google)

4.5b Reduction in Psychology and Neuroscience

Aizawa, Kenneth & Gillett, Carl (online). Multiple realization and methodology in the neurological and psychological sciences.   (Google)
Abstract: The reigning picture of special sciences, what we will term the ‘received’ view, grew out of the work of writers, such as Jerry Fodor, William Wimsatt, and Philip Kitcher, who overturned the Positivist’s jaundiced view of these disciplines by looking at real cases from the biological sciences, linguistics, psychology, and economics, amongst other areas.1 Central to the received view is the ontological claim that the ‘multiple realization’ of properties is widespread in the special sciences which we may frame thus
Aizawa, Ken (2009). Neuroscience and multiple realization: A reply to Bechtel and Mundale. Synthese 167 (3).   (Google)
Abstract: One trend in recent work on topic of the multiple realization of psychological properties has been an emphasis on greater sensitivity to actual science and greater clarity regarding the metaphysics of realization and multiple realization. One contribution to this trend is Bechtel and Mundale’s examination of the implications of brain mapping for multiple realization. Where Bechtel and Mundale argue that studies of brain mapping undermine claims about the multiple realization, this paper challenges that argument
Atmanspacher, Harald (2007). Contextual emergence from physics to cognitive neuroscience. Journal of Consciousness Studies 14 (1-2):18-36.   (Cited by 2 | Google | More links)
Abstract: The concept of contextual emergence has been proposed as a non-reductive, yet well- defined relation between different levels of description of physical and other systems. It is illustrated for the transition from statistical mechanics to thermodynamical properties such as temperature. Stability conditions are shown to be crucial for a rigorous implementation of contingent contexts that are required to understand temperature as an emergent property. Are such stability conditions meaningful for contextual emergence beyond physics as well? An affirmative example from cognitive neuroscience addresses the relation between neurobiological and mental levels of description. For a particular class of partitions of the underlying neurobiological phase space, so-called generating partitions, the emergent mental states are stable under the dynamics. In this case, mental descriptions are (i) faithful representations of the neurodynamics and (ii) compatible with one another
Auyang, Sunny (ms). Are you nothing but genes or neurons?   (Google | More links)
Abstract: All complex systems are complex, but some are more complex than others are. Biological systems are generally more complex than physical systems. How do biologists tackle complex systems? In this talk, we will consider two biological systems, the genome and the brain. Scientists know much about them, but much more remains unknown. Ignorance breeds philosophical speculation. Reductionism makes a strong showing here, as it does in other frontier sciences where large gaps remain in our understanding. I will show that reductionism and its claims have no bases in actual scientific research and results. The Human Genome Project will serve as a case in point..
Barnette, R. L. (1972). Comments on neurophysiological reduction. Theoria 38:143-144.   (Google | More links)
Barnard, Philip & Dalgleish, Tim (2005). Psychological-level systems theory: The missing link in bridging emotion theory and neurobiology through dynamic systems modeling. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 28 (2):196-197.   (Google)
Abstract: Bridging between psychological and neurobiological systems requires that the system components are closely specified at both the psychological and brain levels of analysis. We argue that in developing his dynamic systems theory framework, Lewis has sidestepped the notion of a psychological level systems model altogether, and has taken a partisan approach to his exposition of a brain-level systems model
Beaman, C. Philip (2000). Neurons amongst the symbols? Behavioral and Brain Sciences 23 (4):468-470.   (Google)
Abstract: Page's target article presents an argument for the use of localist, connectionist models in future psychological theorising. The “manifesto” marshalls a set of arguments in favour of localist connectionism and against distributed connectionism, but in doing so misses a larger argument concerning the level of psychological explanation that is appropriate to a given domain
Bechtel, William P. (1983). A bridge between cognitive science and neuroscience: The functional architecture of mind. Philosophical Studies 44 (November):319-30.   (Cited by 6 | Annotation | Google | More links)
Bechtel, William P. (2002). Aligning multiple research techniques in cognitive neuroscience: Why is it important? Proceedings of the Philosophy of Science Association 2002 (3):548-558.   (Cited by 3 | Google | More links)
Abstract: The need to align multiple experimental procedures and produce converging results so as to demonstrate that the phenomenon under investigation is real and not an artifact is a commonplace both in scientific practice and discussions of scientific methodology (Campbell and Stanley 1963; Wimsatt 1981). Although sometimes this is the purpose of aligning techniques, often there is a different purpose—multiple techniques are sought to supply different perspectives on the phenomena under investigation that need to be integrated to answer the questions scientists are asking. After introducing this function, I will illustrate it by considering three of the major techniques in cognitive neuroscience for linking cognitive function with neural structure
Bechtel, William P. (2001). Cognitive neuroscienec: Relating neural mechanisms and cognition. In Peter K. Machamer, Peter McLaughlin & Rick Grush (eds.), Theory and Method in the Neurosciences. University of Pittsburgh Press.   (Google)
Bechtel, William P. & Mundale, Jennifer (1996). Integrating neuroscience, psychology, and evolutionary biology through a teleological conception of function. Minds And Machines 6 (4):481-505.   (Google)
Abstract: The idea of integrating evolutionary biology and psychology has great promise, but one that will be compromised if psychological functions are conceived too abstractly and neuroscience is not allowed to play a contructive role. We argue that the proper integration of neuroscience, psyychology, and evolutionary biology requires a telelogical as opposed to a merely componential analysis of function. A teleological analysis is required in neuroscience itself; we point to traditional and curent research methods in neuroscience, which make critical use of distinctly teleological functional considerations in brain cartography. Only by invoking teleological criteria can researchers distinguish the fruitful ways of identifying brain components from the myriad of possible ways. One likely reason for reluctance to turn to neuroscience is fear of reduction, but we argue that, in the context of a teleological perspective on function, this concern is misplaced. Adducing such theoretical considerations as top-down and bottom-up constraints on neuroscientific and psychological models, as well as existing cases of productive, multidisciplinary cooperation, we argue that integration of neuroscience into psychology and evolutionary biology is likely to be mutually beneficial. We also show how it can be accommodated methodologically within the framework of an interfield theory
Bentwich, Jonathan (2006). The duality principle: Irreducibility of sub-threshold psychophysical computation to neuronal brain activation. Synthese 153 (3):451-455.   (Google | More links)
Abstract: A key working hypothesis in neuroscience is ‘materialistic reductionism’, i.e., the assumption whereby all physiological, behavioral or cognitive phenomena is produced by localized neurochemical brain activation (but not vice versa). However, analysis of sub-threshold Weber’s psychophysical stimulation indicates its computational irreducibility to the direct interaction between psychophysical stimulation and any neuron/s. This is because the materialistic-reductionistic working hypothesis assumes that the determination of the existence or non-existence of any psychophysical stimulation [s] may only be determined through its direct interaction [di1] with a given neuron/s [N] that together forms the ‘neural registry’ computational level [NR/di1]. But, this implies that in cases of (initial) sub-threshold (sensory-specific) psychophysical stimulation which is increased above the sensory-specific threshold but below Weber’s psychophysical ‘dv’—the psychophysical computational processing [PCP] produces an apparently ‘computationally indeterminate’ output. This is because materialistic reductionism asserts the contingency of PCP upon the existence of a direct interaction between ‘s’ and ‘N’ within the NR/di1 level, but in the special case of Weber’s sub-threshold psychophysical stimulation the same PCP/di1 also asserts the non-existence of ‘s’ (as demanded by Weber’s psychophysical law). However, given robust empirical evidence indicating the capability of PCP to determine whether (or not) ‘s’ exists, we must conclude that PCP may not be carried out from within NR’s direct interaction between a particular psychophysical stimulation and any set of neuron/s in the brain. Hence, the Duality Principle asserts the conceptual irreducibility of sub-threshold psychophysical stimulation to any direct NR/di1: s-N interaction, thereby challenging the current materialistic-reductionistic assumption
Bickle, John (2005). Molecular neuroscience to my rescue (again): Reply to looren de Jong and Schouten. Philosophical Psychology 18 (4):487-494.   (Google | More links)
Abstract: In their review essay (published in this issue), Looren de Jong and Schouten take my 2003 book to task for (among other things) neglecting to keep up with the latest developments in my favorite scientific case study (memory consolidation). They claim that these developments have been guided by psychological theorizing and have replaced neurobiology's traditional 'static' view of consolidation with a 'dynamic' alternative. This shows that my 'essential but entirely heuristic' treatment of higher-level cognitive theorizing is a mistaken view of actual scientific practice. In response I contend that, on the contrary, a closer look at the memory reconsolidation following reactivation experiments and data suggests (1) a less revolutionary judgment about the proposed alternative, and (2) a now-complete reliance on ruthlessly reductive experimental methods from cellular and molecular neuroscience. These conclusions save the heuristic status I propose for higher-level investigations of behavior and brain. I close with a brief comment on their further charge that I 'sell out' philosophy of science to factual developments in science itself
Bickle, John (2001). New wave metascience: Replies to Beckermann, Maloney, and Stephan. Grazer Philosophische Studien 61:285-293.   (Cited by 1 | Google)
Bickle, John (2005). Precis of Philosophy and Neuroscience: A Ruthlessly Reductive Account. Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences 4 (3):231-238.   (Google | More links)
Abstract: This book precis describes the motives behind my recent attempt to bring to bear “ruthlessly reductive” results from cellular and molecular neuroscience onto issues in the philosophy of mind. Since readers of this journal will probably be most interested in results addressing features of conscious experience, I highlight these most prominently. My main challenge is that philosophers (even scientifically-inspired ones) are missing the nature and scope of reductionism in contemporary neuroscience by focusing exclusively on higher-level cognitive neuroscience, and ignoring the discipline's cell-physiological and molecular-biological core
Bickle, John (1995). Psychoneural reduction of the genuinely cognitive: Some accomplished facts. Philosophical Psychology 8 (3):265-85.   (Cited by 9 | Annotation | Google)
Abstract: The need for representations and computations over their contents in psychological explanations is often cited as both the mark of the genuinely cognitive and a source of skepticism about the reducibility of cognitive theories to neuroscience. A generic version of this anti-reductionist argument is rejected in this paper as unsound, since (i) current thinking about associative learning emphasizes the need for cognitivist resources in theories adequate to explain even the simplest form of this phenomena (Pavlovian conditioning), and yet (ii) the most widely accepted recent theory of associative learning, which utilizes cognitivist resources, has already been reduced to a purely neurophysiological account. Psychoneural reduction of genuinely cognitivist theories is thus already an accomplished scientific fact, despite pronouncements by anti-reductionists about its conceptual impossibility or empirical implausibility. In addition, the specific form of reduction involved in this case (“combinatorial” reduction) provides a promising model for further cognitivist-to-neuroscience theory reductions
Bickle, John (2005). Replies. Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences 4 (3):285-296.   (Cited by 1 | Google | More links)
Abstract: I reply to challenges raised by contributors to this book symposium. Key challenges include (but are not limited to): distancing my new account of reductionism-in-practice from my previous “new wave” account; clarifying my claimed “heuristic” status for higher-level investigations (including cognitive-neuroscientific ones); defending the “reorientation of philosophical desires” I claim to be required by my project; and addressing consideration about normativity
Bickle, John (2006). Reducing mind to molecular pathways: Explicating the reductionism implicit in current cellular and molecular neuroscience. Synthese 151 (3):411-434.   (Cited by 4 | Google | More links)
Abstract: As opposed to the dismissive attitude toward reductionism that is popular in current philosophy of mind, a “ruthless reductionism” is alive and thriving in “molecular and cellular cognition”—a field of research within cellular and molecular neuroscience, the current mainstream of the discipline. Basic experimental practices and emerging results from this field imply that two common assertions by philosophers and cognitive scientists are false: (1) that we do not know much about how the brain works, and (2) that lower-level neuroscience cannot explain cognition and complex behavior directly. These experimental practices involve intervening directly with molecular components of sub-cellular and gene expression pathways in neurons and then measuring specific behaviors. These behaviors are tracked using tests that are widely accepted by experimental psychologists to study the psychological phenomenon at issue (e.g., memory, attention, and perception). Here I illustrate these practices and their importance for explanation and reduction in current mainstream neuroscience by describing recent work on social recognition memory in mammals
Bickle, John (2008). Real reduction in real neuroscience : Metascience, not philosophy of science (and certainly not metaphysics!). In Jakob Hohwy & Jesper Kallestrup (eds.), Being Reduced: New Essays on Reduction, Explanation, and Causation. Oxford University Press.   (Google)
Bieberich, Erhard, In search of a neuronal substrate of the human mind: New concepts from "topological neurochemistry".   (Cited by 3 | Google | More links)
Abstract: Neurochemistry is a powerful discipline of modern neuroscience based on a description of neuronal function in terms of molecular reaction and interaction. This study aims at a neurochemical approach to the "hard" philosophical mind-body problem: the search for the neuronal correlate of consciousness. The scattered pattern of remote areas in the human brain simultaneously busy with the computation of single perceptions has left us with the unanswered questions why, where, and how the neuronal activity gives rise to a unified conscious observation of the outer world in a space inside of the human brain. In this study, conscious perception of temporally and spatially distinct events by an inner observer, the self, is treated as a topological problem demanding for a correlation of the self with a particular orchestration of neuronal or neurochemical activity triggered by action potentials. According to a novel concept of "topological neurochemistry" it is assumed that three features of the human brain are necessary in order to generate consciousness: 1) A network of neurons with dendritic branching structure and re-entry signaling of action potentials. 2)A macromolecular lattice structure as part of the neuron which is excitable or modulated by action potentials. 3) A spatial superposition of action potentials which underlies conscious perception but reveals not necessarily the same topology as the space perceived in consciousness. Several molecular models for the generation of consciousness and the self will be discussed, and a new concept, the "fractal approach", will be introduced. Mathematical theory and experimental methods for investigation of human consciousness will be presented
Boyce, Alison C. (2009). Neuroimaging in psychiatry: Evaluating the ethical consequences for patient care. Bioethics 23 (6):349-359.   (Google)
Abstract: According to many researchers, it is inevitable and obvious that psychiatric illnesses are biological in nature, and that this is the rationale behind the numerous neuroimaging studies of individuals diagnosed with mental disorders. Scholars looking at the history of psychiatry have pointed out that in the past, the origins and motivations behind the search for biological causes, correlates, and cures for mental disorders are thoroughly social and historically rooted, particularly when the diagnostic category in question is the subject of controversy within psychiatry. This is obscured by neuroimaging studies that drive researchers to proclaim 'revolutions' in psychiatry, namely in the DSM. Providing neuroimaging evidence to support the contention that a condition is 'real' is likely to be extremely influential, as has been extensively discussed in the neuroethics literature. This type of evidence will also reinforce the pre-existing beliefs of those researchers or clinicians who are already expecting a biological description. The uncritical credence given to neuroimaging research is an ethical issue, not in its potential for contributing to misdiagnosis per se but because of the motivations that often drive this research. My claim is that this research should proceed with an awareness of presumptions and motivations underlying the field as a whole, in addition to an explicit focus on the past and potential future consequences of classification and diagnosis on the groups of individuals under study
Brook, Andrew (1998). Neuroscience versus psychology in Freud. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences 843 (1):66-79.   (Cited by 7 | Google | More links)
Abstract: In the 1890's, Freud attempted to lay out the foundations of a complete, interdisciplinary neuroscience of the mind. The conference that gave rise to this collection of papers, Neuroscience of the Mind on the Centennial of Freud's Project for a Scientific Psychology, celebrated the centrepiece of this work, the famous Project (1895a). Freud never published this work and by 1896 or 1897 he had abandoned the research programme behind it. As he announced in the famous Ch. VII of The Interpretation of Dreams (1900), he would thereafter restrict himself to psychology proper, i.e., what could be done within the ambit of psychological descriptions. The task of characterizing the neural implementation of the psychological was impossible to carry out given the state of knowledge in his time. As Pribram and Gill (1976), Kitcher (1992) and others have demonstrated, Freud's attempt to sketch an interdisciplinary model of the mind using the language of neurons, quantities of energy, etc., was extremely advanced for its time and was probably about as good as could have been done with what was known in 1895. Knowledge of the brain, evolutionary biology, etc., was too limited to allow more
Byrne, Alex (2000). Two radical neuron doctrines. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 22 (5):833-833.   (Google | More links)
Abstract: G&S describe the radical neuron doctrine in a number of slightly different ways, and we think this hides an important distinction. On the one hand, the radical neuron doctrine is supposed to have the consequence "that a successful theory of the mind will make no reference to anything like the concepts of linguistics or the psychological sciences as we currently understand them", and so Chomskyan linguistics "is doomed from the beginning" (sect. 2.2.2, paras. 2,3).[1] (Note that `a successful theory' must be read as `any successful theory', else the inference will fail.) On the other hand, the radical neuron doctrine is said to be the claim "that emergent psychological properties can be explained by low-level neurobiological properties" (sect. 2.3, para. 3). It is clear from the context that this can be more faithfully rendered as: psychological phenomena can be explained in (solely) neurobiological terms. But this formulation of the doctrine does not have the consequence just mentioned
Campbell, Keith (1986). Can intuitive psychology survive the growth of neuroscience? Inquiry 29 (June):143-152.   (Cited by 2 | Google)
Carlos, & René, Campis (2008). DID I DO IT? -YEAH, YOU DID! Reduction and Elimination in Philosophy and the Sciences:34- 37.   (Google)
Abstract: In this paper we analyze Libet’s conclusions on «free will» (FW), rejecting his view of the concept and defending a partially aligned view with Wittgenstein’s early remarks on FW. First, the concept of Readiness Potential (RP) and Libet’s view are presented. Second, we offer an account of Wittgenstein´s point of view. Third, a dual-domain analysis is proposed; finally, we offer our conclusions. This article´s conclusion is part of an ongoing research.
Chater, Nick (1999). Why biological neuroscience cannot replace psychology. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 22 (5):834-834.   (Google)
Abstract: Gold & Stoljar argue persuasively that there is presently not a good case for the “radical neuron doctrine.” There are strong reasons to believe that this doctrine is false. An analogy between psychology and economics strongly throws the radical neuron doctrine into doubt
Chella, Antonio (2005). An intermediate level between the psychological and the neurobiological levels of descriptions of appraisal-emotion dynamics. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 28 (2):199-200.   (Google)
Abstract: Conceptual space is proposed as an intermediate representation level between the psychological and the neurobiological levels of descriptions of appraisal and emotions. The main advantage of the proposed intermediate representation is that the appraisal and emotions dynamics are described by using the terms of geometry
Christensen, Wayne D. & Tomassi, Luca (2006). Neuroscience in context: The new flagship of the cognitive sciences. Biological Theory 1 (1):78-83.   (Google | More links)
Churchland, Paul M. & Churchland, Patricia S. (1994). Intertheoretic reduction: A neuroscientist's field guide. In Richard Warner & Tadeusz Szubka (eds.), The Mind-Body Problem: A Guide to the Current Debate. Cambridge: Blackwell.   (Cited by 63 | Google)
Churchland, Paul M. (1982). Is 'thinker' a natural kind? Dialogue 21 (June):223-38.   (Cited by 14 | Annotation | Google)
Churchland, Paul M. (1989). On the nature of theories: A neurocomputational perspective. Minnesota Studies in the Philosophy of Science 14.   (Cited by 22 | Annotation | Google)
Churchland, Paul M. (1986). Some reductive strategies in cognitive neurobiology. Mind 95 (July):279-309.   (Cited by 49 | Annotation | Google | More links)
Crooks, Mark (2002). Intertheoretic identification and mind-brain reductionism. Journal of Mind and Behavior 23 (3):193-222.   (Cited by 2 | Google)
de Jong, Huib L. & Schouten, Maurice K. D. (2005). Ruthless reductionism: A review essay of John Bickle's philosophy and neuroscience: A ruthlessly reductive account. Philosophical Psychology 18 (4):473-486.   (Cited by 1 | Google | More links)
Abstract: John Bickle's new book on philosophy and neuroscience is aptly subtitled 'a ruthlessly reductive account'. His 'new wave metascience' is a massive attack on the relative autonomy that psychology enjoyed until recently, and goes even beyond his previous (Bickle, J. (1998). Psychoneural reduction: The new wave. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.) new wave reductionsism. Reduction of functional psychology to (cognitive) neuroscience is no longer ruthless enough; we should now look rather to cellular or molecular neuroscience at the lowest possible level for explanations of memory, consciousness and attention. Bickle presents a fascinating set of experimental cases of such molecule-to-mind explanations. This book qualifies as a showcase of naturalism in the philosophy of mind. Naturally, many of the traditional conceptual approaches in the philosophy of mind are given short shrift, but - in Bickle's metascientific scheme - the role of philosophy of science also seems reduced to explicating laboratory findings. The present reviewers think that this reductionism suffers from overstretching; in particular, the idea of 'explanation in a single bound' from molecule to mind is a bit too ruthless. Still, Bickle's arguments are worth serious attention
Dembski, William (ms). Challenging materialism's "chokehold" on neuroscience.   (Google)
Abstract: In the epilogue to The Mind and the Brain , we read: "Finally, after a generation or more in which biological materialism has had neuroscience -- indeed, all the life sciences -- in a chokehold, we may at last be breaking free.... Biological materialism did and does have real-world consequences. We feel its reach every time a pharmaceutical company tells us that, to cure shyness (or "social phobia"), we need only reach for a little pill.... Biological materialism is nothing if not appealing. We need not address the emotional or spiritual causes of our sadness to have the cloud of depression lift; we need not question the way we teach our children before we can rid them of attention deficit disorder."
Dresp, Birgitta (1999). The cognitive impenetrability hypothesis: Doomsday for the unity of the cognitive neurosciences? Behavioral and Brain Sciences 22 (3):375-376.   (Google)
Abstract: The heuristic value of Pylyshyn's cognitive impenetrability theory is questioned in this commentary, mainly because, as it stands, the key argument cannot be challenged empirically. Pylyshyn requires unambiguous evidence for an effect of cognitive states on early perceptual mechanisms, which is impossible to provide because we can only infer what might happen at these earlier levels of processing on the basis of evidence collected at the post-perceptual stage. Furthermore, the theory that early visual processes cannot be modified by cognitive states implies that it is totally pointless to try to investigate interactions between consciousness and neurosensory processes
Endicott, Ronald P. (1998). Collapse of the new wave. Journal of Philosophy 95 (2):53-72.   (Cited by 10 | Google | More links)
Abstract: I critically evaluate the influential new wave account of theory reduction in science developed by Paul Churchland and Clifford Hooker. First, I cast doubt on claims that the new wave account enjoys a number of theoretical virtues over its competitors, such as the ability to represent how false theories are reduced by true theories. Second, I argue that the genuinely novel claim that a corrected theory must be specified entirely by terms from the basic reducing theory is in fact too restrictive for scientific practice and should be rejected. Basic theories co-evolve with nonbasic theories in a mutually interactive way, and thus the basic theories incorporate the concepts and concerns of nonbasic theories. Third, I show that once its ontological consequences are duly noted, the reductive part the new wave account collapses into the classical theory developed within the logical empiricist tradition. As such, it still falls prey to standard anti-reductionist argument based upon multiple realizability and the cross-classification of special science and physical science terms.
Endicott, Ronald P. (2001). Post-structuralist angst - critical notice: John Bickle, Psychoneural Reduction: The New Wave. Philosophy of Science 68 (3):377-393.   (Cited by 5 | Google | More links)
Abstract: I critically evaluate Bickle’s version of scientific theory reduction. I press three main points. First, a small point, Bickle modifies the new wave account of reduction developed by Paul Churchland and Clifford Hooker by treating theories as set-theoretic structures. But that structuralist gloss seems to lose what was distinctive about the Churchland-Hooker account, namely, that a corrected theory must be specified entirely by terms and concepts drawn from the basic reducing theory. Set-theoretic structures are not terms or concepts but the structures that they describe. Second, and more serious, a familiar problem for classical positivist account of reduction resurfaces within this newest wave of thinking, namely, commitment to property identities and inter-theoretic bridge laws (a problem I discussed at more length in "Collapse of the New Wave"). Indeed, this problem is exacerbated by Bickle’s conciliatory treatment of property plasticity, since he is willing to grant that a large number of special science terms denote multiply realized properties, at least if realistically construed. Still, in the end, Bickle sidesteps the reduction of properties by appealing to Hooker’s "function-to-structure token reduction." This is an interesting move with an intriguing concept of reduction. But problems remain. For, third, Bickle and Hooker's function-to-structure token reduction is actually a guised form of eliminative materialism. But that should be unacceptable since the position extends well beyond any modest revisionism for suspect items from a folk theory, say, in folk psychology or folk biology. Instead, it applies to functional terms and concepts employed throughout well-developed and explanatorily successful sciences.
Endicott, Ronald (2007). Reinforcing the Three ‘R’s: Reduction, Reception, and Replacement. In M. Schouten & H. Looren de Jong (eds.), The Matter of the Mind: Philosophical Essays on Psychology, Neuroscience, and Reduction. Blackwell.   (Google)
Abstract: Philosophers of science have offered different accounts of what it means for one scientific theory to reduce to another. I propose a more or less friendly amendment to Kenneth Schaffner’s “General Reduction-Replacement” model of scientific unification. Schaffner interprets scientific unification broadly in terms of a continuum from theory reduction to theory replacement. As such, his account leaves no place on its continuum for type irreducible and irreplaceable theories. The same is true for other accounts that incorporate Schaffner's continuum, for example, those developed by Paul Churchland, Clifford Hooker, and John Bickle. Yet I believe a more general account of scientific unification should include type irreducible and irreplaceable theories in an account of their partial reduction, specifically, when there is a reduction of their tokens. Thus I propose a “Reduction-Reception-Replacement” model wherein type irreducible and irreplaceable theories are accepted or received for the purpose of unifying domains of particulars. I also suggest a link between this kind of token reduction and mechanistic explanation.
Endicott, Ronald P. (1993). Species-specific properties and more narrow reductive strategies. Erkenntnis 38 (3):303-21.   (Cited by 6 | Annotation | Google | More links)
Eronen, Markus I. (2009). Reductionist Challenges to Explanatory Pluralism: Comment on McCauley. Philosophical Psychology 22 (5):637-646.   (Google)
Abstract: In this comment, I first point out some problems in McCauley’s defense of the traditional conception of general analytical levels. Then I present certain reductionist arguments against explanatory pluralism that are not based on the New Wave model of intertheoretic reduction, against which McCauley is arguing. Reductionists that are not committed to this model might not have problems incorporating research on long-term diachronic processes in their analyses. In the last part of the paper, I briefly compare Robert N. McCauley’s conception of reduction to some other current accounts, highlighting the differences between them.
Fahey, James & Zenzen, Michael (1999). Reductionism and the neuron doctrine: A metaphysical fix of gold & Stoljar's trivial–radical distinction. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 22 (5):835-836.   (Google)
Abstract: The trivial neuron doctrine (TND) holds that psychology merely depends on neurobiology. The radical neuron doctrine (RND) goes further and claims that psychology is superfluous in that neuroscience can “replace it.” Popular among RND notions of “replacement” is “reduction,” and in our commentary we challenge Gold & Stoljar (G&S) to make clear their distinction between merely depends on (TND) and is reducible to (RND). G&S give us a TND–RND distinction that is a distinction without a difference; a defensible TND–RND distinction must have a metaphysical basis. We suggest a denial of compositionalism as such a basis
Fonseca, J. (2004). On Bickle's failure to give a formal account of the location in the new-wave reductionist spectrum. Disputatio 17.   (Google)
Gaito, J. (1960). Description, explanation, and reductionism in psychology. Psychological Reports 6:203-5.   (Google)
Gaito, J. & Leonard, D. (1965). Philosophical and empirical reductionism in psychology. Journal of General Psychology 72:69-75.   (Google | More links)
Gendron, Bernard (1970). On the relation of neurological and psychological theories: A critique of the hardware thesis. Boston Studies in the Philosophy of Science 8:483-95.   (Cited by 1 | Annotation | Google | More links)
Godbey Jr, John W. (1978). Disjunctive predicates and the reduction of psychology. Mind 87 (July):433-435.   (Google)
Gold, Ian & Stoljar, Daniel (1999). A neuron doctrine in the philosophy of neuroscience. Behavioral And Brain Sciences 22 (5):809-830.   (Cited by 46 | Google | More links)
Gottschling, Verena (2005). The mind reduced to molecules? Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences 4 (3):279-283.   (Google | More links)
Abstract: According to Bickle, certain empirical results demonstrate that the bottom-up reduction of phychological concepts to the concepts of neuroscience has already been accomplished. I argue that this conclusion is hasty. Bickle claims that all high-level investigations depend on a mistake. I argue that this overstates the explanatory character of neuroscientific findings. Bickle's assessment is highly optimistic, but he is far from making a decisive argument. Those who wait for a full-blown reductionism will have to wait a little longer
Gunderson, Keith (1999). What neuron doctrines might never explain. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 22 (5):837-838.   (Google)
Abstract: My focus is on the inability of neuron doctrines to provide an explanatory context for aspects of consciousness that give rise to the mind–body and other minds problem(s). Neuroscience and related psychological sciences may be viewed as richly contributing to our taxonomic understanding of the mind and conditions underlying consciousness, without illuminating mind–body and other minds perplexities
Hameroff, Stuart (1999). The neuron doctrine is an insult to neurons. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 22 (5):838-839.   (Google)
Abstract: As presently implemented, the neuron doctrine (ND) portrays the brain's neurons and chemical synapses as fundamental components in a computer-like switching circuit, supporting a view of brain = mind = computer. However, close examination reveals individual neurons to be far more complex than simple switches, with enormous capacity for intracellular information processing (e.g., in the internal cytoskeleton). Other poorly appreciated factors (gap junctions, apparent randomness, dendritic-dendritic processing, possible quantum computation, the living state) also suggest that the ND grossly oversimplifies neuronal functions. In the quest to understand consciousness, the presently implemented ND may throw out the baby with the bath water
Hardcastle, Valerie Gray (1992). Reduction, explanatory extension, and the mind/brain sciences. Philosophy of Science 59 (3):408-28.   (Cited by 14 | Annotation | Google | More links)
Hardcastle, Valerie Gray (1999). The nontrivial doctrine of cognitive neuroscience. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 22 (5):839-839.   (Google)
Abstract: Gold & Stoljar's “trivial” neuron doctrine is neither a truism in cognitive science nor trivial; it has serious consequences for the future direction of the mind/brain sciences. Not everyone would agree that these consequences are desirable. The authors' “radical” doctrine is not so radical; their division between cognitive neuroscience and neurobiology is largely artificial. Indeed, there is no sharp distinction between cognitive neuroscience and other areas of the brain sciences
Hooker, Cliff A. (2006). Reduction as cognitive strategy. In Brian L. Keeley (ed.), Paul Churchland. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.   (Cited by 2 | Google)
Horwitz, Barry (1999). Neuron doctrine: Trivial versus radical versus do not dichotomize. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 22 (5):839-840.   (Google)
Abstract: Gold & Stoljar argue that there are two (often confused) neuron doctrines, one trivial and the other radical, with only the latter having the consequence that non-neuroscientific sciences of the mind will be discarded. They also attempt to show that there is no evidence supporting the radical doctrine. It is argued here that their dichotomy is artificial and misrepresents modern approaches to understanding the neuroscientific correlates of cognition and behavior
Hyland, Michael E. (1995). Against nomological reductionism in psychology: A response to Robinson. New Ideas in Psychology 13:9-11.   (Google)
Jackson, Frank (1999). A slightly radical neuron doctrine. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 22 (5):840-841.   (Google)
Abstract: The element of truth in behaviorism tells us that some versions of a radical neuron doctrine must be false. However, the representational nature of many mental states implies that neuroscience may well bear on some topics traditionally addressed by philosophers of mind. An example is the individuation of belief states
Jacobson, Anne Jaap (2005). Is the brain a memory box? Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences 4 (3):271-278.   (Cited by 2 | Google | More links)
Abstract: Bickle argues for both a narrow causal reductionism, and a broader ontological-explanatory reductionism. The former is more successful than the latter. I argue that the central and unsolved problem in Bickle's approach to reductionism involves the nature of psychological terms. Investigating why the broader reductionism fails indicates ways in which phenomenology remains more than a handmaiden of neuroscience
Jamieson, Dale (1999). The “trivial neuron doctrine” is not trivial. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 22 (5):841-842.   (Google)
Abstract: I argue that the trivial neuron doctrine as characterized by Gold & Stoljar is not trivial; it appears to be inconsistent with property dualism as well as some forms of functionalism and externalism. I suggest that the problem is not so much with the particular way in which Gold & Stoljar draw the distinction as with the unruliness of the distinction itself. Their failure to see this may be why they misunderstand the views of the Churchlands
Jessor, R. (1958). The problem of reductionism in psychology. Psychological Review 65:170-78.   (Cited by 9 | Google)
Jordan, J. Scott (1999). “Mind is brain” is trivial and nonscientific in both neurobiology and cognitive science. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 22 (5):842-842.   (Google)
Abstract: Gold & Stoljar reveal that adherence to the radical neuron doctrine cannot be maintained via appeals to scientific principles. Using arguments from (1) naturalism and materialism, (2) unification, and (3) exemplars, it is shown that the “mind-is-brain” materialism explicit in the trivial version of the neuron doctrine ultimately suffers the same theoretical fate. Cognitive science, if it is to adopt an ontology at all, would be better served by a metaphysically neutral ontology such as double-aspect theory or neutral monism
Klaassen, Pim; Rietveld, Erik & Topal, Julien (2010). Inviting complementary perspectives on situated normativity in everyday life. Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences 9 (1):53-73.   (Google)
Abstract: In everyday life, situations in which we act adequately yet entirely without deliberation are ubiquitous. We use the term “situated normativity” for the normative aspect of embodied cognition in skillful action. Wittgenstein’s notion of “directed discontent” refers to a context-sensitive reaction of appreciation in skillful action. Extending this notion from the domain of expertise to that of adequate everyday action, we examine phenomenologically the question of what happens when skilled individuals act correctly with instinctive ease. This question invites exploratory contributions from a variety of perspectives complementary to the philosophical/ phenomenological one, including cognitive neuroscience, neurodynamics and psychology. Along such lines we try to make the normative aspect of adequate immediate action better accessible to empirical research. After introducing the idea that “valence” is a forerunner of directed discontent, we propose to make progress on this by first pursuing a more restricted exploratory question, namely, ‘what happens in the first few hundred milliseconds of the development of directed discontent?’
Lau, Joe Y. F. (1999). A more substantive neuron doctrine. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 22 (5):843-844.   (Google | More links)
Abstract: (1) It is not clear from Gold and Stoljar’s definition of biological neuroscience whether it includes computational and representational concepts. If so, then their evaluation of Kandel’s theory is problematic. If not, then a more direct refutation of the radical neuron doctrine is available. (2) Objections to the psychological sciences might derive not just from the conflation of the radical and the trivial neuron doctrine. There might also be the implicit belief that for many mental phenomena, adequate theories must invoke neurophysiological concepts and cannot be purely psychological
Legrand, Dorothée & Grammont, Franck (2005). A matter of facts. Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences 4 (3):249-257.   (Cited by 1 | Google | More links)
Abstract: We discuss the justification of Bickle's “ruthless” reductionism. Bickle intends to show that we know enough about neurons to draw conclusions about the “whole” brain and about the mind. However, his reductionism does not take into account the complexity of the nervous system and the fact that new properties emerge at each significant level of integration from the coupled functioning of elementary components. From a methodological point of view, we argue that neuronal and cognitive models have to exert a mutual constraint(MC) on each other. This approach would refuse to award any priority of cognitive approaches over neuroscience, and reciprocally, to refuse any priority of neuroscience over cognitive approaches. MC thus argues against radicalreductionism at the methodological level
Leslie, Julian C. (2000). Meanings of “function” in neuroscience, cognition, and behaviour analysis. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 23 (4):546-547.   (Google)
Abstract: Different sciences approach the brain-behaviour system at various levels, but often apparently share terminology. “Function” is used both ontogenetically and phylogenetically. Within the ontogeny it has various meanings; the one adopted by Arbib et al. is that of mainstream cognitive psychology. This usage is relatively imprecise, and the psychologists who are sceptical about the ability of cognitive psychology to predict behavioural outcomes may have the same reservations about Arbib et al.'s cognitive neuroscience
Looren de Jong, Huib (2006). Explicating pluralism: Where the mind to molecule pathway gets off the track—reply to Bickle. Synthese 151 (3):435-443.   (Google)
Abstract: It is argued that John Bickle’s Ruthless Reductionism is flawed as an account of the practice of neuroscience. Examples from genetics and linguistics suggest, first, that not every mind-brain link or gene-phenotype link qualifies as a reduction or as a complete explanation, and, second, that the higher (psychological) level of analysis is not likely to disappear as neuroscience progresses. The most plausible picture of the evolving sciences of the mind-brain seems a patchwork of multiple connections and partial explanations, linking anatomy, mechanisms and functions across different domains, levels, and grain sizes. Bickle’s claim that only the molecular level provides genuine explanations, and higher level concepts are just heuristics that will soon be redundant, is thus rejected. In addition, it is argued that Bickle’s recasting of philosophy of science as metascience explicating empirical practices, ignores an essential role for philosophy in reflecting upon criteria for reduction and explanation. Many interesting and complex issues remain to be investigated for the philosophy of science, and in particular the nature of interlevel links found in empirical research requires sophisticated philosophical analysis
Mandik, Pete (ms). Fine-grained supervenience, cognitive neuroscience, and the future of functionalism.   (Google | More links)
Manier, Edward (1986). Problems in the development of cognitive neuroscience: Effective communication between scientific domains. Philosophy of Science.   (Google | More links)
Manier, Edward (1989). Reductionist rhetoric : Expository strategies and the development of the molecular neurobiology of behavior. In Steve Fuller (ed.), The Cognitive Turn: Sociological and Psychological Perspectives on Science. Kluwer Academic Publishers.   (Google)
Mandik, Pete (forthcoming). Supervenience and neuroscience. Synthese.   (Google | More links)
Abstract: The philosophical technical term “supervenience” is frequently used in the philosophy of mind as a concise way of characterizing the core idea of physicalism in a manner that is neutral with respect to debates between reductive physicalists and nonreductive physicalists. I argue against this alleged neutrality and side with reductive physicalists. I am especially interested here in debates between psychoneural reductionists and nonreductive functionalist physicalists. Central to my arguments will be considerations concerning how best to articulate the spirit of the idea of supervenience. I argue for a version of supervenience, “fine-grained supervenience,” which is the claim that if, at a given time, a single entity instantiates two distinct mental properties, it must do so in virtue of instantiating two distinct physical properties. I argue further that despite initial appearances to the contrary, such a construal of supervenience can be embraced only by reductive physicalists
Margolis, Joseph (1976). Countering physicalistic reduction. Journal for the Theory of Social Behaviour 6 (April):5-19.   (Cited by 1 | Google | More links)
Martin, Michael (1971). Neurophysiological reduction and psychological explanation. Philosophy of the Social Sciences 1 (1).   (Google)
Martin, Michael (1977). Neurophysiological reduction and type identity. Philosophy of the Social Sciences 7 (1).   (Google)
Marras, Ausonio (1990). Reduction in psychology. Acta Analytica 6:65-78.   (Google)
Martindale, R. L. & Seidel, R. J. (1959). Reductionism: Its prodigal encores. Psychological Reports 5:213-16.   (Google)
Martin, Michael (1971). The body-mind problem and neurophysiological reduction. Theoria 37:1-14.   (Google)
McCall, Bradford (2008). In the beginning … creativity. By Gordon D. Kaufmanjesus and creativity. By Gordon D. Kaufman. Heythrop Journal 49 (4):712–714.   (Google | More links)
Montgomery, Richard (1990). The reductionist ideal in cognitive psychology. Synthese 85 (November):279-314.   (Cited by 1 | Annotation | Google | More links)
Abstract:   I offer support for the view that physicalist theories of cognition don't reduce to neurophysiological theories. On my view, the mind-brain relationship is to be explained in terms of evolutionary forces, some of which tug in the direction of a reductionistic mind-brain relationship, and some of which which tug in the opposite direction. This theory of forces makes possible an anti-reductionist account of the cognitive mind-brain relationship which avoids psychophysical anomalism. This theory thus also responds to the complaint which arguably lies behind the Churchlands' strongest criticisms of anti-reductionism — namely the complaint that anti-reductionists fail to supply principled explanations for the character of the mind-brain relationship. While lending support to anti-reductionism, the view defended here also insures a permanent place for mind-brain reduction as an explanatory ideal analogous to Newtonian inertial motion or Aristotelian natural motion
Neisser, Joseph U. (2005). The shape of things to come: Psychoneural reduction and the future of psychology. Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences 4 (3):259-269.   (Google | More links)
Abstract: I contrast Bickle's new wave reductionismwith other relevant views about explanation across intertheoretic contexts. I then assess Bickle's empirical argument for psychoneural reduction. Bickle shows that psychology is not autonomous from neuroscience, and concludes that at least some versions of nonreductive physicalism are false. I argue this is not sufficient to establish his further claim that psychology reduces to neuroscience. Examination of Bickle's explanations reveals that they do not meet his own reductive standard. Furthermore, there are good empirical reasons to doubt that the cognitive approach to mind should be abandoned. I suggest that the near future will not see a reduction of psychology to neuroscience, so much as a replacement of both sciences by an improved form of neuropsychology
Olshewsky, Thomas M. (1975). Dispositions and reductionism in psychology. Journal for the Theory of Social Behavior 5 (October):129-44.   (Google | More links)
Peschard, Isabelle & Bitbol, Michel (2008). Heat, Temperature and Phenomenal Concepts. In Edmond Wright (ed.), The Case for Qualia. MIT Press.   (Google)
Abstract: The reduction of the concept of heat to that of molecular kinetic energy is recurrently presented as lending analogical support to the project of reduction of phenomenal concepts to physical concepts. The claimed analogy draws on the way the use of the concept of heat is attached to the experience in first person of a certain sensation. The reduction of this concept seems to prove the possibility to reduce discourse involving phenomenal concepts to a scientific description of neural activity. But is this analogy really justified? We will show that if there is an analogy, far from speaking for a reduction of phenomenal concepts, it rather stresses the necessity to integrate phenomenal reports in the scientific study of experience.
Putnam, Hilary (1974). Reductionism and the nature of psychology. Cognition 2:131-46.   (Cited by 41 | Google)
Richardson, Robert C. (1999). Cognitive science and neuroscience: New wave reductionism. Philosopical Psychology 12 (3):297-307.   (Cited by 4 | Google | More links)
Abstract: John Bickle's Psychoneural reduction: the new wave (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 1998) aims to resurrect reductionism within philosophy of mind. He develops a new model of scientific reduction, geared to enhancing our understanding of how theories in neuroscience and cognitive science are interrelated. I put this discussion in context, and assess the prospects for new wave reductionism, both as a general model of scientific reduction and as an attempt to defend reductionism in the philosophy of mind
Ross, Don & Spurrett, David (2004). What to say to a skeptical metaphysician? A defense manual for cognitive and behavioral scientists. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 27 (5):603-627.   (Cited by 16 | Google | More links)
Abstract: A wave of recent work in metaphysics seeks to undermine the anti-reductionist, functionalist consensus of the past few decades in cognitive science and philosophy of mind. That consensus apparently legitimated a focus on what systems do, without necessarily and always requiring attention to the details of how systems are constituted. The new metaphysical challenge contends that many states and processes referred to by functionalist cognitive scientists are epiphenomenal. It further contends that the problem lies in functionalism itself, and that, to save the causal significance of mind, it is necessary to re-embrace reductionism. We argue that the prescribed return to reductionism would be disastrous for the cognitive and behavioral sciences, requiring the dismantling of most existing achievements and placing intolerable restrictions on further work. However, this argument fails to answer the metaphysical challenge on its own terms. We meet that challenge by going on to argue that the new metaphysical skepticism about functionalist cognitive science depends on reifying two distinct notions of causality (one primarily scientific, the other metaphysical), then equivocating between them. When the different notions of causality are properly distinguished, it is clear that functionalism is in no serious philosophical trouble, and that we need not choose between reducing minds or finding them causally impotent. The metaphysical challenge to functionalism relies, in particular, on a naïve and inaccurate conception of the practice of physics, and the relationship between physics and metaphysics. Key Words: explanation; functionalism; mental causation; metaphysics; reductionism
Scott, A. C. (2004). Reductionism revisited. Journal of Consciousness Studies 11 (2):51-68.   (Cited by 5 | Google | More links)
Sloane, Eugene H. (1945). Reductionism. Psychological Review 52:214-23.   (Google)
Stinson, Catherine (2009). Searching for the Source of Executive Attention. PSYCHE 15 (1):137-154.   (Google)
Abstract: William James presaged, and Alan Allport voiced criticisms of cause theories of executive attention for involving a homunculus who directs attention. I review discussions of this problem, and argue that existing philosophical denials of the problem depend on equivocations between different senses of “Cartesian error”. Another sort of denial tries to get around the problem by offering empirical evidence that such an executive attention director exists in prefrontal cortex. I argue that the evidence does not warrant the conclusion that an executive director can be localized in prefrontal cortex unless dubious assumptions are made, and that computational models purporting to support these assumptions either beg the question, or fail to model executive attention in terms of cause theories.
Van Eck, Dingmar; De Jong, Huib Looren & Schouten, Maurice K. D. (2006). Evaluating new wave reductionism: The case of vision. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 57 (1):167-196.   (Cited by 2 | Google | More links)
Abstract: Faculty Of Philosophy, Tilburg University, P.O. Box 90153, 5000 LE Tilburg, The Netherlands m.k.d.schouten{at}' + u + '@' + d + ''//--> This paper inquires into the nature of intertheoretic relations between psychology and neuroscience. This relationship has been characterized by some as one in which psychological explanations eventually will fall away as otiose, overthrown completely by neurobiological ones. Against this view it will be argued that it squares poorly with scientific practices and empirical developments in the cognitive neurosciences. We analyse a case from research on visual perception, which suggests a much more subtle and complex interplay between psychology and neuroscience than a complete take-over of the former by the latter. In the case of vision, cross-theory influences between psychology and neuroscience go back and forth, resulting in refinement in both disciplines. We interpret this case study as showing that: (1) Mutual co-evolution of psychological and neurobiological theories, exemplifying persisting top-down influences from psychology, is a more empirically adequate way to describe psychoneural theory relations than a view on co-evolution, favoured by reductionists, which regards the cross-theory contributions from psychology as merely heuristically useful with no enduring influence on neurobiological theorizing; (2) In research on vision, discovering (or hypothesizing) the neural basis of functions vindicates psychological approaches, it does not eliminate them; (3) Current work on vision shows that many perceptual phenomena must be understood in terms of dynamical interactions between an observer and his/her environment. Therefore, we argue that internalist characterizations of the visual system must be supplemented with externalist accounts that address these reciprocal observer-environment interactions involved in vision. Such processes seem quite different from (internal) cellular and molecular ones, and as such seem to lie outside the scope of neuroscientific inquiry. We conclude that psychoneural reduction or elimination is implausible as a meta-theoretical prediction of theory choice in empirical work. Instead, this case study of vision shows that both psychology and neuroscience contribute to, and complement one another in the study of visual perception. Psychoneural reductionism 1.1 Introduction 1.2 New Wave Reductionism 1.3 NWR and psychology: three characteristics of psychoneural reductionism 1.4 NWR and the problem of mutual feedback 1.4.1 The ?Mere Heuristics? claim 1.4.2 The disappearance of psychology as an irrelevant historical accident 1.5 Summary: three claims of NWR on psychoneural reduction Vision: a case study 2.1 Introduction 2.1.1 Three opposing claims 2.1.2 Psychology and neuroscience of vision: the orthodoxy 2.2 Testing claim 1: vanishing heuristics or persisting influences? 2.2.1 From what and where to perception and action 2.2.2 Real co-evolution: more than vanishing heuristics 2
Witmer, D. Gene (2003). Dupre's anti-essentialist objection to reductionism. Philosophical Quarterly 53 (211):181-200.   (Cited by 1 | Google | More links)
Wright, Cory D. (2000). Eliminativist undercurrents in the new wave model of psychoneural reduction. Journal of Mind and Behavior 21 (4):413-436.   (Cited by 7 | Google)
Abstract: "New wave" reductionism aims at advancing a kind of reduction that is stronger than unilateral dependency of the mental on the physical. It revolves around the idea that reduction between theoretical levels is a matter of degree, and can be laid out on a continuum between a "smooth" pole (theoretical identity) and a "bumpy" pole (extremely revisionary). It also entails that both higher and lower levels of the reductive relationship sustain some degree of explanatory autonomy. The new wave predicts that reductions of folk psychology to neuroscience will be located in the middle of this continuum; as neuroscientific evidence about mental states checks in, theoretical folk psychology will therefore be moderately revised. However, the model has conceptual problems which preclude its success in reviving reductionism, and its commitment to a syntactic approach wrecks its attempt to rescue folk psychology. Moreover, the architecture of the continuum operates on a category mistake that sneaks in an eliminativist conclusion. I argue that new wave reductionism therefore tends to be eliminativism in disguise

4.5d Psychophysical Reduction, Misc

Beckermann, Ansgar (2001). Physicalism and new wave reductionism. Grazer Philosophische Studien 61:257-261.   (Cited by 4 | Google | More links)
Beckermann, Ansgar (1997). Property physicalism, reduction, and realization. In Martin Carrier & Peter K. Machamer (eds.), Mindscapes: Philosophy, Science, and the Mind. Pittsburgh University Press.   (Cited by 11 | Google | More links)
Abstract: Ansgar Beckermann Once, a mind-body theory based upon the idea of supervenience seemed to be a promising alternative to the various kinds of reductionistic physicalism. In recent years, however, Jaegwon Kim has subjected his own brainchild to a very thorough criticism. With most of Kim’s arguments I agree wholeheartedly - not least because they converge with my own thoughts.2 In order to explain the few points of divergence with Kim’s views, I shall have to prepare the ground a little. In the course of this paper I will therefore do two things: At the start, I will try to sketch the logical topography of the „solution space“ of the problem Kim is concerned with. As a second step, I shall then comment on the concepts of identity, realization and reduction and attempt to show that Kim’s concept of realization is too narrow, because he is still very much in the grip of the traditional view with regard to what it means to show that a property _F _is identical with, or realized by, another property _G_
Bechtel, William P. & Hamilton, Andrew (2007). Reduction, integration, and the unity of science: Natural, behavioral, and social sciences and the humanities. In T. Kuipers (ed.), Philosophy of Science: Focal Issues (Volume 1 of the Handbook of the Philosophy of Science). Elsevier.   (Cited by 2 | Google)
Abstract: 1. A Historical Look at Unity 2. Field Guide to Modern Concepts of Reduction and Unity 3. Kitcher's Revisionist Account of Unification 4. Critics of Unity 5. Integration Instead of Unity 6. Reduction via Mechanisms 7. Case Studies in Reduction and Unification across the Disciplines
Bechtel, William P. (2001). The compatibility of complex systems and reduction: A case analysis of memory research. Minds And Machines 11 (4):483-502.   (Cited by 9 | Google | More links)
Abstract:   Some theorists who emphasize the complexity of biological and cognitive systems and who advocate the employment of the tools of dynamical systems theory in explaining them construe complexity and reduction as exclusive alternatives. This paper argues that reduction, an approach to explanation that decomposes complex activities and localizes the components within the complex system, is not only compatible with an emphasis on complexity, but provides the foundation for dynamical analysis. Explanation via decomposition and localization is nonetheless extremely challenging, and an analysis of recent cognitive neuroscience research on memory is used to illustrate what is involved. Memory researchers split between advocating memory systems and advocating memory processes, and I argue that it is the latter approach that provides the critical sort of decomposition and localization for explaining memory. The challenges of linking distinguishable functions with brain processes is illustrated by two examples: competing hypotheses about the contribution of the hippocampus and competing attempts to link areas in frontal cortex with memory processing
Bickle, John (online). Concepts of intertheoretic reduction in contemporary philosophy of mind.   (Cited by 3 | Google)
Bickle, John (1996). New wave psychophysical reductionism and the methodological caveats. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 56 (1):57-78.   (Cited by 2 | Google | More links)
Bickle, John (1997). Psychoneural Reductionism: The New Wave. MIT Press.   (Cited by 153 | Google | More links)
Bringsjord, Selmer (1994). Searle on the Brink. Psyche 1 (5).   (Cited by 4 | Google | More links)
Abstract: In his recent _The Rediscovery of the Mind_ John Searle tries to destroy cognitive science _and_ preserve a future in which a ``perfect science of the brain'' (1992, p. 235) arrives. I show that Searle can't accomplish both objectives. The ammunition he uses to realise the first stirs up a maelstrom of consciousness so wild it precludes securing the second
Brooks, D. H. M. (1994). How to perform a reduction. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 54 (4):803-14.   (Cited by 8 | Annotation | Google | More links)
Bunzl, Martin (1987). Reductionism and the mental. American Philosophical Quarterly 24 (April):181-9.   (Annotation | Google)
Causey, Robert L. (1972). Attribute identities in microreductions. Journal of Philosophy 64 (August):407-22.   (Cited by 17 | Google | More links)
Combes, Richard (1988). Ockhamite reductionism. International Philosophical Quarterly 28 (September):325-36.   (Google)
Enc, Berent (1976). Identity statements and microreductions. Journal of Philosophy 73 (June):285-306.   (Cited by 1 | Google | More links)
Foss, Jeffrey E. (1995). Materialism, reduction, replacement, and the place of consciousness in science. Journal of Philosophy 92 (8):401-29.   (Cited by 32 | Google | More links)
Gillett, Carl (2007). The metaphysics of mechanisms and the challenge of the new reductionism. In Maurice K. D. Schouten & H. L. De Joong (eds.), The Matter of Mind: Philosophical Essays on Psychology, Neuroscience and Reduction. Blackwell.   (Google)
Abstract: Over the last century, as Figure 1 graphically illustrates, scientific investigations have given us a detailed account of many natural phenomena, from molecules to manic depression, through so-called
Gillett, Carl (2007). Understanding the new reductionism: The metaphysics of science and compositional reduction. Journal of Philosophy 104 (4):193-216.   (Google | More links)
Goldstein, Irwin (2004). Neural Materialism, Pain's Badness, and a Posteriori Identities. In Maite Ezcurdia, Robert Stainton & Christopher Viger (eds.), New Essays in the Philosophy of Language and Mind. University of Calgary Press.   (Google)
Abstract: Orthodox neural materialists think mental states are neural events or orthodox material properties of neutral events. Orthodox material properties are defining properties of the “physical”. A “defining property” of the physical is a type of property that provides a necessary condition for something’s being correctly termed “physical”. In this paper I give an argument against orthodox neural materialism. If successful, the argument would show at least some properties of some mental states are not orthodox material properties of neural events. I argue against the existence of a posteriori identities.
Grene, Marjorie G. (ed.) (1971). Interpretations Of Life And Mind: Essays Around The Problem Of Reduction. Humanities Press.   (Cited by 2 | Google)
Hellman, Geoffrey (1999). Reduction(?) To what? Philosophical Studies 95 (1-2).   (Google)
Hill, Christopher S. (1984). In defense of type materialism. Synthese 59 (June):295-320.   (Cited by 1 | Google | More links)
Jackson, Frank (2002). From reduction to type-type identity. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 65 (3):644-647.   (Google | More links)
Kistler, Max (2005). Is functional reduction logical reduction? Croatian Journal of Philosophy 5 (14):219-234.   (Google)
Kitcher, Patricia S. (1980). Discussion: How to reduce a functional psychology? Philosophy of Science 47 (March):134-140.   (Google)
Kitcher, P. S. (1980). How to reduce a functional psychology. Philosophy of Science 47 (1):134-40.   (Cited by 4 | Annotation | Google | More links)
Lugg, Andrew (1975). Putnam on reductionism. Cognition 3:289-293.   (Google)
Lyre, Holger (2009). The “Multirealization” of Multiple Realizability. In A. Hieke & H. Leitgeb (eds.), Reduction - Abstraction - Analysis. Ontos.   (Google | More links)
Abstract: Multiple Realizability (MR) must still be regarded as one of the principal arguments against type reductionist accounts of higher-order properties and their special laws. Against this I argue that there is no unique MR but rather a multitude of MR categories. In a slogan: MR is itself “multi-realized”. If this is true then we cannot expect one unique reductionist strategy against MR as an anti-reductionist argument. The main task is rather to develop a taxonomy of the wide variety of MR cases and to sketch possible reductionist answers for each class of cases. The paper outlines some first steps in this direction.
Maloney, Christopher (2001). Reservations about new wave reduction. Grazer Philosophische Studien 61:263-277.   (Google)
Marras, Ausonio (2002). Kim on reduction. Erkenntnis 57 (2):231-57.   (Cited by 12 | Google | More links)
Abstract:   In Mind in a Physical World (1998), Jaegwon Kim has recently extended his ongoing critique of `non-reductive materialist' positions in philosophy of mind by arguing that Nagel's model of reduction is the wrong paradigm in terms of which to contest the issue of psychophysical reduction, and that an altogether different model of scientific reduction – a functional model of reduction – is needed. In this paper I argue, first, that Kim's conception of the Nagelian model is substantially impoverished and potentially misleading; second, that his own functional model is problematic in several respects; and, third, that the basic idea underlying his functional model can well be accommodated within a properly reinterpreted Nagelian model. I conclude with some reflections on the issue of psychophysical reduction
McGivern, Patrick (2008). Reductive levels and multi-scale structure. Synthese 165 (1).   (Google)
Abstract: I discuss arguments about the relationship between different “levels” of explanation in the light of examples involving multi-scale analysis. I focus on arguments about causal competition between properties at different levels, such as Jaegwon Kim’s “supervenience argument.” A central feature of Kim’s argument is that higher-level properties can in general be identified with “micro-based” properties. I argue that explanations from multi-scale analysis give examples of explanations that are problematic for accounts such as Kim’s. I argue that these difficulties suggest that some standard assumptions about causal competition need to be revised
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Mucciolo, Laurence F. (1974). Scientific reduction and the mind-body problem. Canadian Journal of Philosophy (Suppl.) 185:185-204.   (Google)
Nickles, Thomas (1973). Two concepts of intertheoretic reduction. Journal of Philosophy 70 (April):181-201.   (Cited by 31 | Google | More links)
Papineau, David (1985). Social Facts and Psychological Facts. In Gregory Currie & A. Musgrave (eds.), Popper and the Human Sciences. Martinus Nijhoff.   (Cited by 6 | Annotation | Google)
Peacocke, Arthur R. (1976). Reductionism: A review of the epistemological issues and their relevance to biology and the problem of consciousness. Zygon 11 (December):307-334.   (Cited by 7 | Google)
Peschard, Isabelle & Bitbol, Michel (2008). Heat, Temperature and Phenomenal Concepts. In Edmond Wright (ed.), The Case for Qualia. MIT Press.   (Google)
Abstract: The reduction of the concept of heat to that of molecular kinetic energy is recurrently presented as lending analogical support to the project of reduction of phenomenal concepts to physical concepts. The claimed analogy draws on the way the use of the concept of heat is attached to the experience in first person of a certain sensation. The reduction of this concept seems to prove the possibility to reduce discourse involving phenomenal concepts to a scientific description of neural activity. But is this analogy really justified? We will show that if there is an analogy, far from speaking for a reduction of phenomenal concepts, it rather stresses the necessity to integrate phenomenal reports in the scientific study of experience.
Post, John F., Breakwater: The new wave, supervenience and individualism.   (Cited by 1 | Google | More links)
Abstract: New-wave psychoneural reduction, a la Bickle and Churchland, conflicts with the way certain adaptation properties are individuated according to evolutionary biology. Such properties cannot be reduced to physical properties of the token items that have the adaptation properties. The New Wave may entail a form of individualism inconsistent with evolutionary biology. All of this causes serious trouble as well for Jaegwon Kim's thesis of the Causal Individuation of Kinds, his Weak Supervenience thesis, Alexander's Dictum, his synchronicity thesis that all psychological kinds supervene on the contemporaneous physical states of the organism, Correlation Thesis, and indeed his Restricted Correlation Thesis. All these theses are strongly individualist, in the sense of entailing that ALL a thing's properties are determined by its own physical properties and relations, contrary to many properties in biology and psychology
Raatikainen, Panu, The return of reductive physicalism.   (Google)
Abstract: The importance of the exclusion argument for contemporary physicalism is emphasized. The recent attempts to vindicate reductive physicalism by invoking certain needed revisions to the Nagelian model of reduction are then discussed. It is argued that such revised views of reduction offer in fact much less help to reductive physicalism than is sometimes supposed, and that many of these views lead to trouble when combined with the exclusion argument
Richardson, Robert C. (1979). Functionalism and reductionism. Philosophy of Science 46 (4):533-58.   (Cited by 23 | Annotation | Google | More links)
Richardson, Robert C. (1982). How not to reduce a functional psychology. Philosophy of Science 49 (1):125-37.   (Cited by 7 | Annotation | Google | More links)
Rueger, Alexander (2004). Reduction, autonomy, and causal exclusion among physical properties. Synthese 139 (1):1-21.   (Cited by 6 | Google | More links)
Abstract:   Is there a problem of causal exclusion between micro- and macro-level physical properties? I argue (following Kim) that the sorts of properties thatin fact are in competition are macro properties, viz., the property of a (macro-) system of `having such-and-such macro properties'' (call this a `macro-structural property'') and the property of the same system of `being constituted by such-and-such a micro-structure'' (call this a `micro-structural property''). I show that there are cases where, for lack of reducibility, there is a prima facie intra-level causal competition between the two kinds of properties. The problem can be resolved without giving up on the causal efficacy of the macro-structural properties if we understandinstances of macro-structural properties to be parts ofmicro-structural property instances. The parthood relation between both kinds of property instances can bemapped onto the way physical theory deals with the relation of their descriptionsin the framework of perturbation theory. The application of this framework to theproblem of emergent properties is discussed
Ruttkamp, Emma (2006). Reduction revisited. South African Journal of Philosophy 25 (2):102-112.   (Google)
Sachse, Christian & Esfeld, Michael (2007). Theory reduction by means of functional sub-types. International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 21:1-17.   (Google)
Abstract: The paper sets out a new strategy for theory reduction by means of functional sub-types. This strategy is intended to get around the multiple realization objection. We use Kim’s argument for token identity (ontological reductionism) based on the causal exclusion problem as starting point. We then extend ontological reductionism to epistemological reductionism (theory reduction). We show how one can distinguish within any functional type between functional sub-types. Each of these sub-types is coextensive with one type of realizer. By this means, a conservative theory reduction is in principle possible despite multiple realization. We link this account with Nagelian reduction as well as Kim’s functional reduction
Sarkar, Sahotra (1992). Models of reduction and categories of reductionism. Synthese 91 (3):167-94.   (Cited by 20 | Google | More links)
Abstract:   A classification of models of reduction into three categories — theory reductionism, explanatory reductionism, and constitutive reductionism — is presented. It is shown that this classification helps clarify the relations between various explications of reduction that have been offered in the past, especially if a distinction is maintained between the various epistemological and ontological issues that arise. A relatively new model of explanatory reduction, one that emphasizes that reduction is the explanation of a whole in terms of its parts is also presented in detail. Finally, the classification is used to clarify the debate over reductionism in molecular biology. It is argued there that while no model from the category of theory reduction might be applicable in that case, models of explanatory reduction might yet capture the structure of the relevant explanations
Sarkar, Tushar K. (1982). Types of reductionism: Their alleged incompatibility with anti-physicalism. In Logic, Ontology And Action. Atlantic Highlands: Humanities Press.   (Google)
Schweizer, Paul (2001). Realization, reduction and psychological autonomy. Synthese 126 (3):383-405.   (Cited by 1 | Google | More links)
Abstract:   It is often thought that the computational paradigm provides a supporting case for the theoretical autonomy of the science of mind. However, I argue that computation is in fact incompatible with this alleged aspect of intentional explanation, and hence the foundational assumptions of orthodox cognitive science are mutually unstable. The most plausible way to relieve these foundational tensions is to relinquish the idea that the psychological level enjoys some special form of theoretical sovereignty. So, in contrast to well known antireductionist views based on multiple realizability, I argue that the primary goal of a computational approach to the mind should be to facilitate a translation of the psychological to the neurophysiological
Spurrett, David (2006). Reductionisms and physicalisms. South African Journal of Philosophy 25 (2):159-170.   (Google)
Sturgeon, Scott (2001). The roots of reductionism. In Carl Gillett & Barry M. Loewer (eds.), Physicalism and its Discontents. Cambridge University Press.   (Cited by 1 | Google)
Swanson, J. W. (1962). On the Kemeny-Oppenheim treatment of reduction. Philosophical Studies 13 (6):94-96.   (Google | More links)
Wimsatt, William C. (1976). Reductionism, levels of organization, and the mind-body problem. In Gordon G. Globus (ed.), Consciousness and the Brain. Plenum Press.   (Cited by 86 | Annotation | Google)