Reduction, elimination, and the mental

Philosophy of Science 58 (June):203-20 (1991)
The antireductionist arguments of many philosophers (e.g., Baker, Fodor and Davidson) are motivated by a worry that successful reduction would eliminate rather than conserve the mental. This worry derives from a misunderstanding of the empiricist account of reduction, which, although it does not underwrite "cognitive suicide", should be rejected for its positivist baggage. Philosophy of psychology needs more detailed attention to issues in natural science which serve as analogies for reduction of the mental. I consider a range of central cases, including water and H 2 O, genes and DNA, and common sense and scientific solidity. The last case is illuminated by Eddington's Two Tables paradox, a resolution which suggests the plasticity of the mental under reduction. If reduction of the mental is like any of these cases, it is neither empiricist nor eliminative.
Keywords Elimination  Empiricism  Mental  Reductionism  Science
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1086/289612
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index
Download options
PhilPapers Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 22,675
External links
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.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Monthly downloads

Added to index


Total downloads

29 ( #147,677 of 2,117,590 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

3 ( #219,397 of 2,117,590 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature

Start a new thread
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.