This mode searches for entries containing all the entered words in their title, author, date, comment field, or in any of many other fields showing on OPC pages.
This mode searches for entries containing the text string you entered in their author field. Note that the database does not have first names for all authors, so it is preferable to search only by surnames. If you search for a full name or a name with an initial, enter it in the format used internally, namely the "Lastname, Firstname" or "Lastname, F." format.
This mode differs from the all fields mode in two respects. First, some information not publicly available on the site is searched, e.g., abstracts and excerpts gathered by the crawler, which are not always accurate but can help broaden one's search. Second, you may prefix any term with a '+' or '-' to narrow the search to entries containing it or not containing it, respectively. Terms which are not prefixed by a '+' are not mandatory. Instead, they are weighed depending on their frequency in order to determine the best search results. You may also search for a literal string composed of several words by putting them in double quotation marks (").
Note that short and / or common words are ignored by the search engine.
Try PhilPapers to find published items which are available on a subscription basis.
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
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..
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
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
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
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
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). (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
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.
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."
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.
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
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
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
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.
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
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.
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