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4.5b. Reduction in Psychology and Neuroscience (Reduction in Psychology and Neuroscience on PhilPapers)

See also:
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