Realization, reduction and psychological autonomy

Synthese 126 (3):383-405 (2001)
Abstract
  It is often thought that the computational paradigm provides a supporting case for the theoretical autonomy of the science of mind. However, I argue that computation is in fact incompatible with this alleged aspect of intentional explanation, and hence the foundational assumptions of orthodox cognitive science are mutually unstable. The most plausible way to relieve these foundational tensions is to relinquish the idea that the psychological level enjoys some special form of theoretical sovereignty. So, in contrast to well known antireductionist views based on multiple realizability, I argue that the primary goal of a computational approach to the mind should be to facilitate a translation of the psychological to the neurophysiological
Keywords Autonomy  Computation  Explanation  Psychology  Realization  Reduction  Science
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