Molecular neuroscience to my rescue (again): Reply to looren de Jong and Schouten

Philosophical Psychology 18 (4):487-494 (2005)
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.
Keywords Memory  Metaphysics  Naturalism  Neuroscience  Reduction  Looren De Jong, Huib  Schouten, Maurice
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