David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Philosophy of Science 47 (June):244-259 (1980)
The so-called post-Wittgensteinian Oxford philosophers are often criticized not only for failing to provide for the causal explanation of human behavior and psychological states, but also for failing to recognize that psychological explanations require appeal to sub-personal or molecular processes. Three strategies accommodating this criticism appear in so-called homunculus theories and include: (1) that the sub-systems be assigned intentional or informational content purely heuristically; (2) that the intentional or informational content of molar states be analyzed without remainder in terms of molecular processing; (3) that the entire or salient range of mental or informational molar states be accessible at the molecular level, or vice versa. Option (2) proves to be the most radical and is favored by Dennett. (1) relevantly requires a reduction of the intentional. (3) is illustrated in various ways by the views of Freud, Chomsky, Fodor. (2) is shown to depend on (1) or to be idle; and (3) embraces at least in part an appeal to molar-level explanation. The argument developed attempts to show the sense in which discourse about molar and molecular-level phenomena in the psychological context is fundamentally different from macroscopic and microtheoretical-level discourse about physical phenomena. The conclusion drawn is that neither a molar nor a sub-personal level theory is suitably explanatory in the psychological sense: a psychological theory is committed rather to a set of sub-personal components of such systems, that serve to explain molar phenomena
|Keywords||Explanation Macrocosm Microcosm Physical Psychology Science|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
|Through your library|
References found in this work BETA
No references found.
Citations of this work BETA
No citations found.
Similar books and articles
Robert Klee (1992). Anomalous Monism, Ceteris Paribus, and Psychological Explanation. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 43 (3):389-403.
Lawrence A. Shapiro (1997). A Clearer Vision. Philosophy of Science 64 (1):131-53.
Frank Jackson (2000). Psychological Explanation and Implicit Theory. Philosophical Explorations 3 (1):83-95.
JeeLoo Liu (2001). A Nonreductionist's Solution to Kim's Explanatory Exclusion Problem. Manuscrito 24 (1):7-47.
Thomas D. Bontly (1998). Individualism and the Nature of Syntactic States. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 49 (4):557-574.
Joseph Owens (1993). Content, Causation, and Psychophysical Supervenience. Philosophy of Science 60 (2):242-61.
Jonathan Knowles (2001). Does Intentional Psychology Need Vindicating by Cognitive Science? Minds and Machines 11 (3):347-377.
Kristin Andrews (2003). Knowing Mental States: The Asymmetry of Psychological Prediction and Explanation. In Quentin Smith & Aleksandar Jokic (eds.), Consciousness: New Philosophical Perspectives. Oxford University Press
Margaret A. Boden (1970). Intentionality and Physical Systems. Philosophy of Science 32 (June):200-214.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads24 ( #122,464 of 1,725,162 )
Recent downloads (6 months)3 ( #210,933 of 1,725,162 )
How can I increase my downloads?