Explanatory Pluralism and The Heuristic Identity Theory
David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Ezio Di Nucci
Jack Alan Reynolds
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University and William Bechtel Washington University Abstract Explanatory pluralism holds that the sorts of comprehensive theoretical and ontological economies, which microreductionists and New Wave reductionists envision and which antireductionists fear, offer misleading views of both scientific practice and scientific progress. Both advocates and foes of employing reductionist strategies at the interface of psychology and neuroscience have overplayed the alleged economies that interlevel connections (including identities) justify while overlooking their fundamental role in promoting scientific research. A brief review of research on visual processing provides support for the explanatory pluralist=s general model of cross-scientific relations and discloses the valuable heuristic role hypothetical identities play in cross-scientific research. That model also supplies grounds for hesitation about the correlation objection to the psycho-physical identity theory and complaints about an explanatory gap in physicalist accounts of consciousness. These takes on psycho-neural connections miss both the sorts of considerations that motivate hypothetical identities in science and their fundamental contribution to progressive research. Thus, their focus on the contributions of research at multiple levels of analysis does not bar explanatory pluralists from considering heuristic identity theory (HIT). Arguably, it encourages it.
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Rick Dale, Eric Dietrich & Anthony Chemero (2009). Explanatory Pluralism in Cognitive Science. Cognitive Science 33 (2):739-742.
William Bechtel (2016). Investigating Neural Representations: The Tale of Place Cells. Synthese 193 (5):1287-1321.
Markus Eronen (2012). Pluralistic Physicalism and the Causal Exclusion Argument. European Journal for Philosophy of Science 2 (2):219-232.
Benjamin Sheredos (forthcoming). Re-Reconciling the Epistemic and Ontic Views of Explanation. Erkenntnis:1-31.
Agustín Ibáñez, Andrés Haye, Ramiro González, Esteban Hurtado & Rodrigo Henríquez (2009). Multi‐Level Analysis of Cultural Phenomena: The Role of ERPs Approach to Prejudice. Journal for the Theory of Social Behaviour 39 (1):81-110.
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