David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Philosophy of Science 46 (4):533-58 (1979)
It is here argued that functionalist constraints on psychology do not preclude the applicability of classic forms of reduction and, therefore, do not support claims to a principled, or de jure, autonomy of psychology. In Part I, after isolating one minimal restriction any functionalist theory must impose on its categories, it is shown that any functionalism imposing an additional constraint of de facto autonomy must also be committed to a pure functionalist--that is, a computationalist--model for psychology. Using an extended parallel to the reduction of Mendelian to molecular genetics, it is shown in Parts II and III that, contrary to the claims of Hilary Putnam and Jerry Fodor, there is no inconsistency between computational models and classical reductionism: neither plurality of physical realization nor plurality of function are inconsistent with reductionism as defended by Ernest Nagel. Employing the results of Part I, the conclusions of Parts II and III are generalized in Part IV to cover any version of functionalism whatsoever; thus, functionalism and reductionism are shown to be consistent. It is urged in conclusion that although a de facto form of autonomy is defensible, there are sound methodological grounds for unconditionally rejecting any principled version of the autonomy of psychology
|Keywords||No keywords specified (fix it)|
|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
Robert C. Richardson (2009). Multiple Realization and Methodological Pluralism. Synthese 167 (3):473 - 492.
Paul Needham (2009). Reduction and Emergence: A Critique of Kim. Philosophical Studies 146 (1):93 - 116.
Keith Butler (1994). Neural Constraints in Cognitive Science. Minds and Machines 4 (2):129-62.
Paul M. Churchland (1982). Is 'Thinker' a Natural Kind? Dialogue 21 (June):223-38.
John Bickle (2010). Has the Last Decade of Challenges to the Multiple Realization Argument Provided Aid and Comfort to Psychoneural Reductionists? Synthese 177 (2):247 - 260.
Similar books and articles
Don Ross & David Spurrett (2004). What to Say to a Skeptical Metaphysician? A Defense Manual for Cognitive and Behavioral Scientists. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 27 (5):603-627.
Paul M. Livingston (2005). Functionalism and Logical Analysis. In David Woodruff Smith & Amie L. Thomasson (eds.), Phenomenology and Philosophy of Mind. Oxford: Clarendon Press. 19.
Ned Block (ed.) (1980). Readings In Philosophy Of Psychology. Cambridge: Harvard University Press.
Carl Gillett (2007). A Mechanist Manifesto for the Philosophy of Mind: A Third Way for Functionalists. Journal of Philosophical Research 32:21-42.
Helmut F. Spinner (1973). Science Without Reduction. Inquiry 16 (1-4):16 – 94.
Andrew Melnyk (2006). Functionalism and Psychological Reductionism: Friends, Not Foes. In Maurice Schouten & Huib Looren de Jong (eds.), The Matter of the Mind: Philosophical Essays on Psychology, Neuroscience and Reduction. Blackwell. 31-50.
Sahotra Sarkar (1992). Models of Reduction and Categories of Reductionism. Synthese 91 (3):167-94.
Marian David (1997). Kim's Functionalism. Philosophical Perspectives 11 (s11):133-48.
Carl Gillett (forthcoming). Understanding the New Reductionism: The Metaphysics of Realization and Reduction by Functionalism. In De Joong & Schouten (eds.), Rethinking Reduction. Oxford, Blackwell.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads46 ( #42,972 of 1,410,095 )
Recent downloads (6 months)1 ( #177,589 of 1,410,095 )
How can I increase my downloads?