David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
1. Introduction: Naturalism and Psychological Explanations To a large extent, contemporary philosophical debate takes place within a framework of naturalistic assumptions. From the perspective of the history of philosophy, naturalism is the legacy of positivism without its empiricist epistemology and empiricist conception of meaning and cognitive significance. Systematically, it is best to characterize naturalism as the philosophical articulation of the underlying presuppositions of a reductive scientific research program that was rather successful in the last few centuries and, equally important, promises to be so in the future particularly in the biological sciences and the neurosciences. It seems as if the secrets of human life and behavior and the mysteries of the mind will be cracked on the molecular level of the genes or the brain, or at least so we are told. Viewed in this manner it is understandable why philosophical naturalism tends to be committed to monism, both as a metaphysical or ontological claim and as a methodological position in the philosophy of social science. Naturalists are inclined to adopt a physicalist ontology that rejects free floating Cartesian substances and they view higher order macroscopic facts and properties as being dependent or supervenient on basic micro-physical facts. Naturalists, furthermore, expect that any scientific explanation of higher order properties has to provide an account of why and how these lower order facts give rise to higher order ones. These ontological and epistemic commitments also underpin a position of methodological monism in regard to the social sciences and the explanation of human agency. If the above ontological picture is correct then there is no reason to expect that the structure of the sciences dealing with higher order properties on the social level should fundamentally differ in their methodology from the natural sciences. In both domains of investigation, scientists will develop and make explanatory use of comprehensive and empirically well supported theories with adequate predictive powers that describe....
|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
Antonella Corradini & Alessandro Antonietti (2013). Mirror Neurons and Their Function in Cognitively Understood Empathy. Consciousness and Cognition 22 (3):1152-1161.
Similar books and articles
Neil C. Manson (2004). Reason Explanation a First-Order Rationalizing Account. Philosophical Explorations 7 (2):113 – 129.
John R. Searle (1991). Intentionalistic Explanations in the Social Sciences. Philosophy of the Social Sciences 21 (3):332-344.
Seungbae Park (2003). Ontological Order in Scientific Explanation. Philosophical Papers 32 (2):157-170.
Huib L. de Jong (2002). Levels of Explanation in Biological Psychology. Philosophical Psychology 15 (4):441-462.
Harold Kincaid (1988). Supervenience and Explanation. Synthese 77 (November):251-81.
Cory D. Wright (2007). Is Psychological Explanation Going Extinct? In Huib Looren de Jong & Maurice Schouten (eds.), The Matter of the Mind: Philosophical Essays on Psychology, Neuroscience and Reduction. Oxford: Blackwell.
Erik Weber & Jeroen Van Bouwel (2002). Symposium on Explanations and Social Ontology 3: Can We Dispense with Structural Explanations of Social Facts? Economics and Philosophy 18 (2):259-275.
Suzanne Bliss & Jordi Fernández (2010). Program Explanation and Higher-Order Properties. Acta Analytica 25 (4):393-411.
Paul K. Moser (1994). Naturalism and Psychological Explanation. Philosophical Psychology 7 (1):63-84.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads19 ( #90,358 of 1,102,971 )
Recent downloads (6 months)1 ( #297,509 of 1,102,971 )
How can I increase my downloads?