How can mental properties bring about physical effects, as they seem to do, given that the physical realizers of the mental goings-on are already sufficient to cause these effects? This question gives rise to the problem of mental causation (MC) and its associated threats of causal overdetermination, mental causal exclusion, and mental causal irrelevance. Some (e.g., Cynthia and Graham Macdonald, and Stephen Yablo) have suggested that understanding mental-physical realization in terms of the determinable/determinate relation (henceforth, 'determination') provides the key (...) to solving the problem of MC: if mental properties are determinables of their physical realizers, then (since determinables and determinates are distinct, yet don't causally compete) all three threats may be avoided. Not everyone agrees that determination can do this good work, however. Some (e.g., Douglas Ehring, Eric Funkhauser, and Sven Walter) object that mental-physical realization can't be determination, since such realization lacks one or other characteristic feature of determination. I argue that on a proper understanding of the features of determination key to solving the problem of MC these arguments can be resisted. (shrink)
This paper argues against the _realization principle_, which reifies the realization relation between lower-level and higher-level properties. It begins with a review of some principles of naturalistic metaphysics. Then it criticizes some likely reasons for embracing the realization principle, and finally it argues against the principle directly. The most likely reasons for embracing the principle depend on the dubious assumption that special science theories cannot be true unless special science predicates designate properties. The principle itself turns out to (...) be false because the realization relation fails the naturalistic test for reality: it makes no causal difference to the world.1. (shrink)
The Subset View of realization, though it has some attractive advantages, also has several problems. In particular, there are five main problems that have emerged in the literature: Double-Counting, The Part/Whole Problem, The “No Addition of Being” Problem, The Problem of Projectibility, and the Problem of Spurious Kinds. Each is reviewed here, along with solutions (or partial solutions) to them. Taking these problems seriously constrains the form that a Subset view can take, and thus limits the kinds of relations (...) that can fulfill the realization relation on this view. (shrink)
Thomas Polger and Laurence Shapiro argue that Carl Gillett's much publicized dimensioned theory of realization is incoherent, being subject to a reductio. Their argument turns on the fact that Gillett's definition of realization makes property instances the exclusive relata of the realization relation, while his belief in multiple realization implies its denial, namely, that properties are the relata of the realization relation on occasions of multiple realization. Others like Sydney Shoemaker have also expressed their (...) view of realization in terms of property instances, yet they too have accepted the multiple realizability of properties. Thus I am interested in the more general issue raised by Polger and Shapiro's argument. Specifically, I show how to supplement a theory of realization with a category-inclusive auxiliary assumption, which avoids the stated reductio. I then offer a few reasons to justify the proposed category-inclusive view of realization, making some comparisons to supervenience and causation along the way. (shrink)
I argue that an adequate account of non-reductive realization must guarantee satisfaction of a certain condition on the token causal powers associated with (instances of) realized and realizing entities---namely, what I call the 'Subset Condition on Causal Powers' (first introduced in Wilson 1999). In terms of states, the condition requires that the token powers had by a realized state on a given occasion be a proper subset of the token powers had by the state that realizes it on that (...) occasion. Accounts of non-reductive realization conforming to this condition are implementing what I call 'the powers-based subset strategy'. I focus on the crucial case involving mental and brain states; the results may be generalized, as appropriate. I ﬁrst situate and motivate the strategy by attention to the problem of mental causation; I make the case, in schematic terms, that implementation of the strategy makes room (contra Kim 1989, 1993, 1998, and elsewhere) for mental states to be ontologically and causally autonomous from their realizing physical states, without inducing problematic causal overdetermination, and compatible with both Physicalism and Non-reduction; and I show that several contemporary accounts of non-reductive realization (in terms of functional realization, parthood, and the determinable/determinate relation) are plausibly seen as implementing the strategy. As I also show, implementation of the powers-based strategy does not require endorsement of any particular accounts of either properties or causation---indeed, a categoricalist contingentist Humean can implement the strategy. The schematic location of the strategy in the space of available responses to the problem of mental (more generally, higher-level) causation, as well as the fact that the schema may be metaphysically instantiated, strongly suggests that the strategy is, appropriately generalized and instantiated, sufficient and moreover necessary for non-reductive realization. I go on to defend the sufficiency and necessity claims against a variety of objections, considering, along the way, how the powers-based subset strategy fares against competing accounts of purportedly non-reductive realization in terms of supervenience, token identity, and constitution. (shrink)
There is currently a significant amount of interest in understanding and developing theories of realization. Naturally arguments have arisen about the adequacy of some theories over others. Many of these arguments have a point. But some can be resolved by seeing that the theories of realization in question are not genuine competitors because they fall under different conceptual traditions with different but compatible goals. I will first describe three different conceptual traditions of realization that are implicated by (...) the arguments under discussion. I will then examine the arguments, from an older complaint by Norman Malcolm against a familiar functional theory to a recent argument by Thomas Polger against an assortment of theories that traffic in inherited causal powers, showing how they can be resolved by situating the theories under their respective conceptual traditions. (shrink)
I resolve an argument over “flat” versus “dimensioned” theories of realization. The theories concern, in part, whether realized and realizing properties are instantiated by the same individual (the flat theory) or different individuals in a part-whole relationship (the dimensioned theory). Carl Gillett has argued that the two views conflict, and that flat theories should be rejected on grounds that they fail to capture scientific cases involving a dimensioned relation between individuals and their constituent parts. I argue on the contrary (...) that the two types of theory complement one another, even on the same range of scientific cases. I illustrate the point with two popular functionalist versions of flat and dimensioned positions – causal-role functionalism and a functional analysis by decomposition – that combine into a larger picture I call “comprehensive functional realization.” I also respond to some possible objections to this synthesis of functionalist views. (shrink)
Twenty years ago, Richard Boyd suggested that physicalism could be formulated by appeal to a notion of realization, with no appeal to the identity of the non-physical with the physical. In (Melnyk 2003), I developed this suggestion at length, on the basis of one particular account of realization. I now ask what happens if you try to formulate physicalism on the basis of other accounts of realization, accounts due to LePore and Loewer and to Shoemaker. Having explored (...) two new formulations of physicalism, I conclude that my 2003 formulation remains the most promising. (shrink)
Let thin properties be properties shared by coincident entities, e.g., a person and her body, and thick properties ones that are not shared. Thick properties entail sortal properties, e.g., being a person, and the associated persistence conditions. On the first account of realization defined here, the realized property and its realizers will belong to the same individual. This restricts the physical realizers of mental properties, which are thick, to thick physical properties. We also need a sense in which mental (...) properties can be realized in thin physical properties shared by a person and her body. Defining this in turn requires defining a sense in which the instantiations of sortal properties and of thick properties are realized in micro-structural states of affairs. A fourth notion of realization is needed to allow for the possibility of coincident entities that share a sortal property, e.g., coincident persons. (shrink)
Several philosophers (e.g., Ehring (Nous (Detroit, Mich.) 30:461–480, 1996 ); Funkhouser (Nous (Detroit, Mich.) 40:548–569, 2006 ); Walter (Canadian Journal of Philosophy 37:217–244, 2007 ) have argued that there are metaphysical differences between the determinable-determinate relation and the realization relation between mental and physical properties. Others have challenged this claim (e.g., Wilson (Philosophical Studies, 2009 ). In this paper, I argue that there are indeed such differences and propose a “mechanistic” account of realization that elucidates why these differences (...) hold. This account of realization incorporates two distinct roles that mechanisms play in the realization of mental (and other special science) properties which are implicit, but undeveloped, in the literature—what I call “constitutive” and “integrative” mechanisms. I then use these two notions of mechanism to clarify some debates about the relations between realization, multiple realizability, and irreducibility. (shrink)
This paper is about the relation between two metaphysical topics: the nature of properties, and way the instantiation of a property is sometimes “realized in” something more fundamental. It is partly an attempt to develop further, but also to correct, my earlier treatments of these topics. In my published work on realization, including my book Physical Realization, I was at pains to insist that acceptance of my view about this does not commit one to the causal theory of (...) properties I have defended in several places. I held that it commits one to the claim that within any given world, properties with the same causal profile are identical, but not to the requirement that a property must have the same causal profile in any world in which it can be instantiated. I now think that this was a mistake. There is an argument from the account of realization I have offered to the conclusion that, if physicalism is true, properties of macroscopic objects have their causal profiles essentially. In what follows I will present that argument.Along the way I will correct what now seem to me mistakes in my earlier presentationsof the account of realization. And I will conclude with an additional argument for the causal theory of properties, one that does not tie it to the assumption that physicalism is true or to my account of realization. (shrink)
This paper examines the standard view of realization operative incontemporary philosophy of mind, and proposes an alternative, generalperspective on realization. The standard view can be expressed, insummary form, as the conjunction of two theses, the sufficiency thesis andthe constitutivity thesis. Physicalists of both reductionist and anti-reductionist persuasions share a conception of realization wherebyrealizations are determinative of the properties they realize and physically constitutive of the individuals with those properties. Centralto the alternative view that I explore here is (...) the idea that the requisite,metaphysically robust notion of realization is ineliminably context-sensitive. I shall argue that the sufficiency and constitutivity theses aretypically not jointly satisfied by any one candidate realizer, and that goingcontext-sensitive in one's metaphysics is preferable to the standard view.The context-sensitive views developed here are implicit in a range ofcommon views in both the philosophy of mind and the philosophy of biology,even if they have not been explicitly articulated, and even though theyundermine other views that are commonly endorsed. (shrink)
The realization relation that allegedly holds between mental and physical properties plays a crucial role for so-called non-reductive physicalism because it is supposed to secure both the ontological autonomy of mental properties and, despite their irreducibility, their ability to make a causal difference to the course of the causally closed physical world. For a long time however, the nature of realization has largely been ignored in the philosophy of mind until a couple of years ago authors like Carl (...) Gillett, Derk Pereboom, or Sydney Shoemaker proposed accounts according to which realization is understood against the background of the so-called 'causal theory of properties'. At least partially, the hope was to solve the problem of mental causation, in particular the kind of causal exclusion reasoning made famous by Jaegwon Kim, in a way acceptable to nonreductive physicalists. The paper asks whether a proper explication of the realization relation can indeed help explain how physically realized mental properties can be causally efficacious in the causally closed physical world and argues for a negative answer: it is important for the non-reductive physicalist to understand what exactly the realization relation amounts to, but it does not solve the problem of mental causation. (shrink)
This volume brings together a number of perspectives on the nature of realization explanation and experimentation in the ‘special’ and biological sciences as well as the related issues of psychoneural reduction and cognitive extension. The first two papers in the volume may be regarded as offering direct responses to the questions: (1) What model of realization is appropriate for understanding the metaphysics of science? and (2) What kind of philosophical work is such a model ultimately supposed to do?
For the greater part of the last 50 years, it has been common for philosophers of mind and cognitive scientists to invoke the notion of realization in discussing the relationship between the mind and the brain. In traditional philosophy of mind, mental states are said to be realized, instantiated, or implemented in brain states. Artificial intelligence is sometimes described as the attempt either to model or to actually construct systems that realize some of the same psychological abilities that we (...) and other living creatures possess. The claim that specific psychological.. (shrink)
Consider what the brain-state theorist has to do to make good his claims. He has to specify a physical–chemical state such that any organism (not just a mammal) is in pain if and only if (a) it possesses a brain of suitable physical–chemical structure; and (b) its brain is in that physical–chemical state. This means that the physical–chemical state in question must be a possible state of a mammalian brain, a reptilian brain, a mollusc’s brain (octopuses are mollusca, and certainly (...) feel pain), etc. At the same time, it must not be a possible (physically possible) state of the brain of any physically possible creature that cannot feel pain. Even if such a state can be found, it must be nomologically certain that it will also be a state of the brain of any extraterrestrial life that may be found that will be capable of feeling pain before we can even entertain the supposition that it may be pain. It is not altogether impossible that such a state will be found... . But this is certainly an ambitious hypothesis. (Putnam 1967/1975, p. 436) The belief that mental states are multiply realized is now nearly universal among philosophers, as is the belief that this fact decisively refutes the identity theory. I argue that the empirical support for multiple realization does not justify the confidence that has been placed in it. In order for multiple realization of mental states to be an objection to the identity theory, the neurological differences among pains, for example, must be such as to guarantee that they are of distinct neurological kinds. But the phenomena traditionally cited do not provide evidence of that sort of variation. In particular, examples of neural plasticity do not provide such evidence. (shrink)
Both Putnam and Searle have argued that that every abstract automaton is realized by every physical system, a claim that leads to a reductio argument against Cognitivism or Strong AI: if it is possible for a computer to be conscious by virtue of realizing some abstract automaton, then by Putnam’s theorem every physical system also realizes that automaton, and so every physical system is conscious—a conclusion few supporters of Strong AI would be willing to accept. Dennett has suggested a criterion (...) of reverse engineering for identifying “real patterns,” and I argue that this approach is also very effective at identifying “real realizations.” I focus on examples of real-world implementations of complex automata because previous attempts at answering Putnam’s challenge have been overly restrictive, ruling out some realizations that are in fact paradigmatic examples of practical automaton realization. I also argue that some previous approaches have at the same time been overly lenient in accepting counter-intuitive realizations of trivial automata. I argue that the reverse engineering approach avoids both of these flaws. Moreover, Dennett’s approach allows us to recognize that some realizations are better than others, and the line between real realizations and non-realizations is not sharp. (shrink)
A common conception of what it is for one property to “realize” another suggests that it is the realizer property that does the causal work, and that the realized property is epiphenomenal. The same conception underlies George Bealer’s argument that functionalism leads to the absurd conclusion that what we take to be self-ascriptions of a mental state are really self-ascriptions of “first-order” properties that realize that state. This paper argues for a different concept of realization. A property realizes another (...) if its “forward looking” causal features are a subset of those of the property realized. The instantiation of the realizer property will include the instantiation of the property realized; and when the effects produced are due to the causal features of the latter, it is the instantiation of it that is appropriately regarded as their cause. Epiphenomenalism is avoided, and so is Bealer’s absurd conclusion. (shrink)
This paper explores the relationship between psychology and neurobiology in the context of cognitive science. Are the sciences that constitute cognitive science independent and theoretically autonomous, or is there a necessary interaction between them? I explore Fodor's Multiple Realization Thesis (MRT) which starts with the fact of multiple realization and purports to derive the theoretical autonomy of special sciences (such as psychology) from structural sciences (such as neurobiology). After laying out the MRT, it is shown that, on closer (...) inspection, the argument is either circular or self-undermining--the argument either assumes the very autonomy it seeks to demonstrate or the concluded autonomy is contradicted by the theoretical interdependence invoked by the premises of the argument. Next, I explore a concrete example of multiple realization in the explanation of animal behavior: the convergent evolution of jamming avoidance behaviors in three genera of weakly electric fish. Contrary to the image painted by the MRT, the work on these animals involves a high degree of interaction between the various levels of investigation. The fact that our understanding of electric fish behavior involves functional theories and multiple realization without the kind of disunified science that is supposed to follow from such a situation indicates that the mere fact of multiple realization cannot be the basis for an autonomous psychology. (shrink)
The paper criticizes standard functionalist arguments for multiple realization. It focuses on arguments in which psychological states are conceived as computational, which is precisely where the multiple realization doctrine has seemed the strongest. It is argued that a type-type identity thesis between computational states and physical states is no less plausible than a multiple realization thesis. The paper also presents, more tentatively, positive arguments for a picture of local reduction.
My topic is the confluence of two recently active philosophical research programs. One research program concerns the metaphysics of realization. The other research program concerns scientific explanation in terms of mechanisms. In this paper I introduce a distinction between descriptive and explanatory approaches to realization. I then use this distinction to argue that a well-known account of realization, due to Carl Gillett, is incompatible with a well-known account of mechanistic explanation, due to Peter Machamer, Lindley Darden, and (...) Carl Craver (MDC, Philos Sci 57: 1-25, 2000). This is surprising, not least of which because Gillett has cited MDC's work as evidence that his account of realization is the right way to think about realization in the sciences. (shrink)
One way that scientifically recognized properties are multiply realized is by “compensatory differences” among realizing properties. If a property G is jointly realized by two properties F1 and F2, then G can be multiply realized by having changes in the property F1 offset changes in the property F2. In some cases, there are scientific laws that articulate how distinct combinations of physical quantities can determine one and the same value of some other physical quantity. One moral to draw is that (...) in such cases we have the multiple realization of a single determinate, “fine grained” property instance that is exactly similar to another instance. As simple as this moral is, it has ramifications for a number of recent discussions of multiple realization in science. Taken collectively, these ramifications indicate that multiple realization by compensatory adjustments merits greater attention in the philosophy of science literature than it has hitherto received. (shrink)
So far no clear explication of the notion of realization has been offered, in spite of the frequent uses of the notion in the literature to discharge important jobs, such as that of accounting for the causal efficacy of the mental in a physical world, and that of providing a viable characterization of physicalism, and/or psychophysical reduction. I put forward an account of realization as an identity-like relation. I argue that such account has the following advantages: (a) it (...) provides a picture under which it makes sense to use the same term, i.e. 'realization', to pick out relations that differ in their relata, as it happened in the original uses of the term 'realization'; (b) it helps to understand how well, if at all, some appeals to realization in the literature can discharge the jobs mentioned; (c) more generally, it makes clear what realization can do. \\\ Hasta el momento no se ha expuesto detalladamente ninguna explicación clara de la nocion de realización, a pesar de que se usa con frecuencia en los textos filósoficos para desempeñar funciones importantes, como explicar la eflcacia causal de lo mental en un mundo fisico, y proporcionar una caracterización viable del fisicalismo, y/o de la reducción psicofisica. Presento una explicación de la realización como una relatión del tipo de la identidad. Sostengo que tal explicación tiene las siguientes ventajas: (a) ofrece una caracterización dentro de cuyo marco resulta razonable usar el mismo termino, i.e., "realización", para distinguir relaciones que difieren en sus relata, como sucedió cuando se usó originalmente el termino "realizacion"; (b) ayuda a comprender hasta que punto la realizacion que se invoca en algunos textos filosoficos puede desempeñar correctamente las tareas mencionadas; (c) mas en general, aclara qué puede hacer la realización. (shrink)
The previous decade has seen renewed critical interest in the multiple realization argument. These criticisms constitute a "second wave" of challenges to this central argument in late-20th century philosophy of mind. Unlike the first wave, which challenged the premise that multiple realization is inconsistent with reduction or type identity, this second wave challenges the truth of the multiple realization premise itself. Since psychoneural reductionism was prominent among the explicit targets of the multiple realization argument, one might (...) think that this second wave of challenges provides important aid and comfort to reductionists. In this paper, however, I provide reasons for thinking it does not. This is not to the detriment of psychoneural reductionism because, as I also argue here, and unrecognized by the current non-reductive orthodoxy in philosophy of mind, one key argument among the first wave of criticisms of the multiple realization argument has never been adequately rejoined. (shrink)
Understanding the 'making-up' relations, to put things neutrally, posited in mechanistic explanations the sciences is finally an explicit topic of debate amongst philosophers of science. In particular, there is now lively debate over the nature of the so-called 'realization' relations between properties posited in such explanations. Despite criticism (Gillett, Analysis 62: 316-323, 2002a), the most common approach continues to be that of applying machinery developed in the philosophy of mind to scientific concepts in what is known as the 'Flat' (...) or 'Subset' model of 'realization' (Kim, Mind in a physical world, 1998; Shapiro, J Philos XCVII: 635-654, 2000; Clapp, J Philos XCVIII: 111-136,2001 ; Wilson, Philos Stud 145: 149-169,2009). My primary goal in this paper is to show in still more detail that the Subset model of realization is inadequate for the descriptive task of describing the 'making-up' relations posited between properties or their instances in mechanistic explanations in the higher sciences. And my secondary goal is to highlight why this critique of the Subset view as a first-order descriptive account also shows there are deep difficulties in using the Subset account to address second-order issues in the philosophy of science as well. (shrink)
The relationship between self-realization, thus of what I really wholeheartedly endorse and I owe to myself, and morality or what we owe to others is normally thought of as antagonism, or as a pleasant coincidence: Only if I am indebted to such relations as my fundamental projects that I care wholeheartedly about, does morality have a direct connection to self-realization. The aim of this article is to argue against this picture. I will be argued that the structure of (...) self-realization and the caring activity involved commits the person to values that are beyond the object of his wholehearted caring, in a way that might just pave the way to morality. -/- . (shrink)
In the first section of this paper, I articulate Jaegwon Kim's argument against emergent down ward causation. In the second section, I canvas four responses to Kim's argument and argue that each fails. In the third section, I show that emergent downward causation does not, contra Kim, entail overdetermination. I argue that supervenience of emergent upon base properties is not sufficient for nomological causal relationsbetween emergent and base properties. What sustains Kim's argument is rather the claim that emergent properties realized (...) by base properties can have no causal powers distinct from those base properties. I argue that this is false. (shrink)
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. (shrink)
The by now famous exclusion problem for mental causation admits only one possible solution, as far as I can see, namely: that mental and physical properties are linked by a vertical relation. In this paper, starting from what I take to be sensible premises about properties, I will be visiting some general relations between them, in order to see whether, first, it is true that some vertical relation, other than identity, makes different sorts of causation compatible and second, whether physical (...) and mental properties can be pairs of such relation. (shrink)
The view that the relationship between minds and brains can be thought of on the model of software and hardware is pervasive. The most common versions of the view, known as functionalism in philosophy of mind, hold that minds are realized by brains.
By quantifying over properties we cannot create new properties any more than by quantifying over individuals we can create new individuals. Someone murdered Jones, and the murderer is either Smith or Jones or Wang. That “someone”, who murdered Jones, is not a person in addition to Smith, Jones, and Wang, and it would be absurd to posit a disjunctive person, Smith-or-Jones-or-Wang, with whom to identify the murderer. The same goes for second-order properties and their realizers. (Kim (1997a), p.201).
The by now famous exclusion problem for mental causation admits only one possible solution, as far as I can see, namely: that mental and physical properties are linked by a vertical relation. In this paper, starting from what I take to be sensible premises about properties, I will be visiting some general relations between them, in order to see whether, first, it is true that some vertical relationship, other than identity, makes different sorts of causation compatible and second, whether physical (...) and mental properties can be pairs of such relationship. (shrink)
Preparing for the journey -- Memory: who am I? -- True being -- The Lucifer effect -- Blame is socially contagious -- The spiritual quest -- The meaning of it all -- Pets and an afterlife -- Crime and punishment -- The dream within the dream -- A rich inner life -- Love thy neighbor -- What if there were no chapter 13? -- Pursuit of happiness -- The drive for power -- Innocent -- Camelot -- Human rights -- E (...) followed by F -- Certainty -- Biases? -- Growing up -- Meaning: it's all a simulation -- The little lie -- Discernment -- The unexamined life -- Conclusion: the exam. (shrink)
Abstract: There has recently been controversy over the existence of 'multiple realization' in addition to some confusion between different conceptions of its nature. To resolve these problems, we focus on concrete examples from the sciences to provide precise accounts of the scientific concepts of 'realization' and 'multiple realization' that have played key roles in recent debates in the philosophy of science and philosophy of psychology. We illustrate the advantages of our view over a prominent rival account ( (...) Shapiro, 2000 and 2004 ) and use our work to rebut recent objections to the long-standing claim that psychological properties are multiply realized. For we use scientific evidence, in combination with our more precise theoretical framework, to show that we have strong reason to believe that psychological properties are indeed multiply realized both at the biochemical and neuronal levels. (shrink)
This paper discusses in broad terms the metaphysical projects of Sydney Shoemaker’s Physical Realization . Specifically, I examine the effectiveness of Shoemaker’s novel “subset” account of realization for defusing the problem of mental causation, and compare the “subset” account with the standard “second-order” account. Finally, I discuss the physicalist status of the metaphysical worldview presented in Shoemaker’s important new contribution to philosophy of mind and metaphysics.
ABSRACT: An increasing number of writers (for example, Kim ((1992), (1999)), Bechtel and Mundale (1999), Keeley (2000), Bickle (2003), Polger (2004), and Shapiro ((2000), (2004))) have attacked the existence of multiple realization and wider views of the special sciences built upon it. We examine the two most important arguments against multiple realization and show that neither is successful. Furthermore, we also defend an alternative, positive view of the ontology, and methodology, of the special science. In contrast to the (...) claims of recent critics, we show that methodological connections between the neurosciences and psychology are plausibly often the result of multiple realization. (shrink)
Many empirically minded philosophers have used neuroscientific data to argue against the multiple realization of cognitive functions in existing biological organisms. I argue that neuroscientists themselves have proposed a biologically based concept of multiple realization as an alternative to interpreting empirical findings in terms of one‐to‐one structure‐function mappings. I introduce this concept and its associated research framework and also how some of the main neuroscience‐based arguments against multiple realization go wrong. *Received October 2009; revised December 2009. †To (...) contact the author, please write to: Department of Philosophy, 260 English‐Philosophy Building, University of Iowa, Iowa City, IA 52242; e‐mail: carrie‐firstname.lastname@example.org. (shrink)
One trend in recent work on topic of the multiple realization of psychological properties has been an emphasis on greater sensitivity to actual science and greater clarity regarding the metaphysics of realization and multiple realization. One contribution to this trend is Bechtel and Mundale’s examination of the implications of brain mapping for multiple realization. Where Bechtel and Mundale argue that studies of brain mapping undermine claims about the multiple realization, this paper challenges that argument.