Ruthless reductionism: A review essay of John Bickle's philosophy and neuroscience: A ruthlessly reductive account [Book Review]
David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Ezio Di Nucci
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Philosophical Psychology 18 (4):473-486 (2005)
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.
|Keywords||Memory Metaphysics Naturalism Neuroscience Psychology Reduction Bickle, John|
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References found in this work BETA
Philip Kitcher (1993). The Advancement of Science: Science Without Legend, Objectivity Without Illusions. Oxford University Press.
John W. Bickle (2008). Psychoneural Reduction: The New Wave. A Bradford Book.
Jaegwon Kim (1999). Making Sense of Emergence. Philosophical Studies 95 (1-2):3-36.
Andrew Pickering (1995). The Mangle of Practice Time, Agency, and Science. Monograph Collection (Matt - Pseudo).
William P. Bechtel & Jennifer Mundale (1999). Multiple Realizability Revisited: Linking Cognitive and Neural States. Philosophy of Science 66 (2):175-207.
Citations of this work BETA
Jacqueline Anne Sullivan (2009). The Multiplicity of Experimental Protocols: A Challenge to Reductionist and Non-Reductionist Models of the Unity of Neuroscience. Synthese 167 (3):511-539.
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