Integrating neuroscience, psychology, and evolutionary biology through a teleological conception of function
David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Minds and Machines 6 (4):481-505 (1996)
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, psychology, 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.
|Keywords||Biology Evolution Neuroscience Psychology Science Teleology|
|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
David Slutsky (2012). Confusion and Dependence in Uses of History. Synthese 184 (3):261-286.
Similar books and articles
Valerie Gray Hardcastle (1992). Reduction, Explanatory Extension, and the Mind/Brain Sciences. Philosophy of Science 59 (3):408-28.
Peter K. Machamer, Peter McLaughlin & Rick Grush (eds.) (2001). Theory and Method in the Neurosciences. University of Pittsburgh Press.
Eric Saidel (1992). What Price Neurophilosophy? Philosophy of Science Association 1:461-68.
Usha Goswami (2008). Principles of Learning, Implications for Teaching: A Cognitive Neuroscience Perspective. Journal of Philosophy of Education 42 (3-4):381-399.
John Symons (2001). What Can Neuroscience Explain? Brain and Mind 2 (2):243-248.
Chris Eliasmith (forthcoming). Computational Neuroscience. In Paul R. Thagard (ed.), Philosophy of Psychology and Cognitive Science. Elsevier.
Nicholas Maxwell (1985). Methodological Problems of Neuroscience. In David Rose & Vernon Dobson (eds.), Models of the Visual Cortex. New York: John Wiley & Sons.
H. Looren De Jong & W. J. Van Der Steen (1998). Biological Thinking in Evolutionary Psychology: Rockbottom or Quicksand? Philosophical Psychology 11 (2):183 – 205.
Steven Quartz, Jacqueline Anne Sullivan, Peter Machamer & Andrea Scarantino, Session 5: Development, Neuroscience and Evolutionary Psychology.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads32 ( #65,270 of 1,692,469 )
Recent downloads (6 months)4 ( #59,665 of 1,692,469 )
How can I increase my downloads?