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  1. Abstraction, Multiple Realizability, and the Explanatory Value of Omitting Irrelevant Details.Matthew C. Haug - manuscript
    Anti-reductionists hold that special science explanations of some phenomena are objectively better than physical explanations of those phenomena. Prominent defenses of this claim appeal to the multiple realizability of special science properties. I argue that special science explanations can be shown to be better, in one respect, than physical explanations in a way that does not depend on multiple realizability. Namely, I discuss a way in which a special science explanation may be more abstract than a competing physical explanation, even (...)
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  2. Out of Nowhere: Introduction: The Emergence of Spacetime.Nick Huggett & Christian Wuthrich - 2021
    This is a chapter of the planned monograph "Out of Nowhere: The Emergence of Spacetime in Quantum Theories of Gravity", co-authored by Nick Huggett and Christian Wüthrich and under contract with Oxford University Press. (More information at www<dot>beyondspacetime<dot>net.) This chapter introduces the problem of emergence of spacetime in quantum gravity. It introduces the main philosophical challenge to spacetime emergence and sketches our preferred solution to it.
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  3. Review of The Multiple Realization Book. [REVIEW]Umut Baysan - forthcoming - Analysis:anx078.
    _The Multiple Realization Book_By PolgerThomas W. and ShapiroLawrence A.Oxford University Press, 2016. xiv + 258 pp. £71.14 cloth, £18.99 paper.
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  4. Can Multiple Realisation Be Explained?Alexander Franklin - forthcoming - Philosophy.
    Multiple realisation prompts the question: how is it that multiple systems all exhibit the same phenomena despite their different underlying properties? In this paper I develop a framework for addressing that question and argue that multiple realisation can be reductively explained. I illustrate this position by applying the framework to a simple example – the multiple realisation of electrical conductivity. I defend my account by addressing potential objections: contra (e.g.) Polger and Shapiro (2016), Batterman (2018), and Sober (1999), I claim (...)
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  5. Understanding the New Reductionism: The Metaphysics of Realization and Reduction by Functionalism.Carl Gillett - forthcoming - In De Joong & Schouten (eds.), Rethinking Reduction. Blackwell.
  6. A Challenge to the Second Law of Thermodynamics From Cognitive Science and Vice Versa.Meir Hemmo & Orly Shenker - forthcoming - Synthese:1-31.
    We show that the so-called Multiple-Computations Theorem in cognitive science and philosophy of mind challenges Landauer’s Principle in physics. Since the orthodox wisdom in statistical physics is that Landauer’s Principle is implied by, or is the mechanical equivalent of, the Second Law of thermodynamics, our argument shows that the Multiple-Computations Theorem challenges the universal validity of the Second Law of thermodynamics itself. We construct two examples of computations carried out by one and the same dynamical process with respect to which (...)
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  7. Grace de Laguna’s Analytic and Speculative Philosophy.Joel Katzav - forthcoming - Australasian Philosophical Review.
    This paper introduces the philosophy of Grace Andrus de Laguna in order to renew interest in it. I show that, in the 1910s and 1920s, she develops ideas and arguments that are also found playing key roles in the development of analytic philosophy decades later. Further, I describe her sympathetic, but acute, criticism of pragmatism and Heideggerian ontology, and situate her work in the tradition of American, speculative philosophy. Before 1920, we will see, de Laguna appeals to multiple realizability to (...)
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  8. Bayesian Networks and Causal Ecumenism.David Kinney - forthcoming - Erkenntnis:1-26.
    Proponents of various causal exclusion arguments claim that for any given event, there is often a unique level of granularity at which that event is caused. Against these causal exclusion arguments, causal ecumenists argue that the same event or phenomenon can be caused at multiple levels of granularity. This paper argues that the Bayesian network approach to representing the causal structure of target systems is consistent with causal ecumenism. Given the ubiquity of Bayesian networks as a tool for representing causal (...)
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  9. A Dilemma About the Mental.Guy Dove & Andreas Elpidorou - 2021 - Organon F: Medzinárodný Časopis Pre Analytickú Filozofiu.
    Physicalism demands an explication of what it means for something to be physical. But the most popular way of providing one—viz., characterizing the physical in terms of the postulates of a scientifically derived physical theory—is met with serious trouble. Proponents of physicalism can either appeal to current physical theory or to some future physical theory (preferably an ideal and complete one). Neither option is promising: currentism almost assuredly renders physicalism false and futurism appears to render it indeterminate or trivial. The (...)
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  10. Unity of Science.Tuomas E. Tahko - 2021 - Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
    Unity of science was once a very popular idea among both philosophers and scientists. But it has fallen out of fashion, largely because of its association with reductionism and the challenge from multiple realisation. Pluralism and the disunity of science are the new norm, and higher-level natural kinds and special science laws are considered to have an important role in scientific practice. What kind of reductionism does multiple realisability challenge? What does it take to reduce one phenomenon to another? How (...)
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  11. Multiple Realization in Systems Biology.Wei Fang - 2020 - Philosophy of Science 87 (4):663-684.
    Thomas Polger and Lawrence Shapiro claim that unlike human-made artifacts cases of multiple realization in naturally occurring systems are uncommon. Drawing on cases from systems biology, I argue t...
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  12. Multiple Realization in Systems Biology.Wesley Fang - 2020 - Philosophy of Science 87 (4):663–684.
    Polger and Shapiro (2016) claim that unlike human-made artifacts cases of multiple realization in naturally occurring systems are uncommon. Drawing on cases from systems biology, I argue that multiple realization in naturally occurring systems is not as uncommon as Polger and Shapiro initially thought. The relevant cases, which I draw from systems biology, involve generalizable design principles called network motifs which recur in different organisms and species and perform specific functions. I show that network motifs with entirely different underlying causal (...)
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  13. Multiple Realization and Compositional Variation.Kevin Morris - 2020 - Synthese 197 (6):2593-2611.
    It has often been thought that compositional variation across systems that are similar from the point of view of the special sciences provides a key point in favor of the multiple realization of special science kinds and in turn the broadly nonreductive consequences often thought to follow from multiple realization. Yet in a series of articles, and culminating in The Multiple Realization Book, Tom Polger and Larry Shapiro argue that an account of multiple realization demanding enough to yield such nonreductive (...)
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  14. Multiple Realizability From a Causal Perspective.Lauren N. Ross - 2020 - Philosophy of Science 87 (4):640-662.
    This article examines the multiple realizability thesis within a causal framework. The beginnings of this framework are found in Elliott Sober’s “Multiple Realizability Argument against Reduction,”...
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  15. Where Do You Get Your Protein? Or: Biochemical Realization.Tuomas E. Tahko - 2020 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 71 (3):799-825.
    Biochemical kinds such as proteins pose interesting problems for philosophers of science, as they can be studied from the points of view of both biology and chemistry. The relationship between the biological functions of biochemical kinds and the microstructures that they are related to is the key question. This leads us to a more general discussion about ontological reductionism, microstructuralism, and multiple realization at the biology-chemistry interface. On the face of it, biochemical kinds seem to pose a challenge for ontological (...)
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  16. Networks, Intentionality and Multiple Realizability: Not Enough to Block Reductionism.Markus I. Eronen & Laura F. Bringmann - 2019 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 42.
    Borsboom, Cramer, and Kalis propose that the network approach blocks reductionism in psychopathology. We argue that the two main arguments, intentionality and multiple realizability of mental disorders, are not sufficient to establish that mental disorders are not brain disorders, and that the specific role of networks in these arguments is unclear.
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  17. Universality Reduced.Alexander Franklin - 2019 - Philosophy of Science 86 (5):1295-1306.
    The universality of critical phenomena is best explained by appeal to the Renormalisation Group (RG). Batterman and Morrison, among others, have claimed that this explanation is irreducible. I argue that the RG account is reducible, but that the higher-level explanation ought not to be eliminated. I demonstrate that the key assumption on which the explanation relies – the scale invariance of critical systems – can be explained in lower-level terms; however, we should not replace the RG explanation with a bottom-up (...)
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  18. On the Neurobiological Redefinition of Psychiatric Symptoms: Elimination, Reduction, or What?Maël Lemoine - 2019 - Synthese 196 (6):2117-2133.
    Because biologization of psychiatric constructs does not involve derivation of laws, or reduce the number of entities involved, the traditional term of ‘reduction’ should be replaced. This paper describes biologization in terms of redefinition, which involves changing the definition of terms sharing the same extension. Redefinition obtains through triangulation and calibration, that is, respectively, detection of an object from two different spots, and tweaking parameters of detection in order to optimize the picture. The unity of the different views of the (...)
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  19. Fish and Microchips: On Fish Pain and Multiple Realization.Matthias Michel - 2019 - Philosophical Studies 176 (9):2411-2428.
    Opponents to consciousness in fish argue that fish do not feel pain because they do not have a neocortex, which is a necessary condition for feeling pain. A common counter-argument appeals to the multiple realizability of pain: while a neocortex might be necessary for feeling pain in humans, pain might be realized differently in fish. This paper argues, first, that it is impossible to find a criterion allowing us to demarcate between plausible and implausible cases of multiple realization of pain (...)
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  20. Elimination, Not Reduction: Lessons From the Research Domain Criteria (RDoC) and Multiple Realisation.Tuomas K. Pernu - 2019 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 42:e22.
    The thesis of multiple realisation that Borsboom et al. are relying on should not be taken for granted. In dissolving the apparent multiple realisation, the reductionist research strategies in psychopathology research (the Research Domain Criteria [RDoC] framework, in particular) are bound to lead to eliminativism rather than reductionism. Therefore, Borsboom et al. seem to be aiming at a wrong target.
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  21. Why the Social Sciences Are Irreducible.Tobias Hansson Wahlberg - 2019 - Synthese 196 (12):4961-4987.
    It is often claimed that the social sciences cannot be reduced to a lower-level individualistic science. The standard argument for this position is the Fodorian multiple realizability argument. Its defenders endorse token–token identities between “higher-level” social objects and pluralities/sums of “lower-level” individuals, but they maintain that the properties expressed by social science predicates are often multiply realizable, entailing that type–type identities between social and individualistic properties are ruled out. In this paper I argue that the multiple realizability argument for explanatory (...)
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  22. Multiple Realization and the Commensurability of Taxonomies.John Zerilli - 2019 - Synthese 196 (8):3337-3353.
    The past two decades have witnessed a revival of interest in multiple realization and multiply realized kinds. Bechtel and Mundale’s :175–207, 1999) illuminating discussion of the subject must no doubt be credited with having generated much of this renewed interest. Among other virtues, their paper expresses what seems to be an important insight about multiple realization: that unless we keep a consistent grain across realized and realizing kinds, claims alleging the multiple realization of psychological kinds are vulnerable to refutation. In (...)
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  23. Multiple Realization and Multiple “Ways” of Realization: A Progress Report.Kenneth Aizawa - 2018 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 68:3-9.
    One might have thought that if something has two or more distinct realizations, then that thing is multiply realized. Nevertheless, some philosophers have claimed that two or more distinct realizations do not amount to multiple realization, unless those distinct realizations amount to multiple “ways” of realizing the thing. Corey Maley, Gualtiero Piccinini, Thomas Polger, and Lawrence Shapiro are among these philosophers. Unfortunately, they do not explain why multiple realization requires multiple “ways” of realizing. More significantly, their efforts to articulate multiple (...)
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  24. How (Not) to Theorize About Multiple Realization.David Barrett - 2018 - Metaphilosophy 49 (5):674-690.
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  25. The Multiple Realization Book By Thomas W. Polger and Lawrence A. Shapiro.Umut Baysan - 2018 - Analysis 78 (1):177-180.
    © The Author 2017. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of The Analysis Trust. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please email: [email protected] fish propel their bodies under water in order to travel from one place to another, are they doing the same kind of thing that we do when we swim? If swimming is to be identified with exactly the kind of thing that we do when we swim, we should seriously consider the following question: Do fish swim? Believe (...)
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  26. Some Concerns with Polger and Shapiro’s View.Mark Couch - 2018 - Philosophical Psychology 31 (3):419-430.
    This paper provides some responses to Tom Polger and Larry Shapiro’s The Multiple Realization Book (2016). I first provide a description of the authors’ framework for thinking about multiple realization and the conditions they claim this involves. I explain what I think they get right and what they get wrong with this framework. After this, I then consider a few examples of multiple realization they discuss and the interpretations they offer. While I am sympathetic to several things they say about (...)
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  27. The Case for Multiple Realization in Biology.Wei Fang - 2018 - Biology and Philosophy 33 (1-2):3.
    Polger and Shapiro argue that their official recipe, a criterion for judging when the phenomenon of multiple realization exists, renders MR less widespread than its proponents have assumed. I argue that, although Polger and Shapiro’s criterion is a useful contribution, they arrive at their conclusion too hastily. Contrary to Polger and Shapiro, I claim that the phenomenon of multiple realization in the biological world, judged by their criterion, is not as scarce as they suggest. To show this, an updated official (...)
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  28. Online Overview Article: Reductionism.Jan G. Michel - 2018 - SDA, Digital Humanities Project, Oxford University.
  29. Mental Causation Via Neuroprosthetics? A Critical Analysis.Tuomas Pernu - 2018 - Synthese (12):5159-5174.
    Some recent arguments defending the genuine causal efficacy of the mental have been relying on empirical research on neuroprosthetics. This essay presents a critical analysis of these arguments. The problem of mental causation, and the basic idea and results of neuroprosthetics are reviewed. It is shown how appealing to the research on neuroprosthetics can be interpreted to give support to the idea of mental causation. However, it does so only in a rather deflationary sense: by holding the mental identical with (...)
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  30. The Swapping Constraint.Henry Schiller - 2018 - Minds and Machines 28 (3):605-622.
    Triviality arguments against the computational theory of mind claim that computational implementation is trivial and thus does not serve as an adequate metaphysical basis for mental states. It is common to take computational implementation to consist in a mapping from physical states to abstract computational states. In this paper, I propose a novel constraint on the kinds of physical states that can implement computational states, which helps to specify what it is for two physical states to non-trivially implement the same (...)
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  31. Ethical Reductionism.Neil Sinhababu - 2018 - Journal of Ethics and Social Philosophy 13 (1):32-52.
    Ethical reductionism is the best version of naturalistic moral realism. Reductionists regard moral properties as identical to properties appearing in successful scientific theories. Nonreductionists, including many of the Cornell Realists, argue that moral properties instead supervene on scientific properties without identity. I respond to two arguments for nonreductionism. First, nonreductionists argue that the multiple realizability of moral properties defeats reductionism. Multiple realizability can be addressed in ethics by identifying moral properties uniquely or disjunctively with properties of the special sciences. Second, (...)
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  32. Multiple Realization, Levels and Mechanisms.Sergio Daniel Barberis - 2017 - Teorema: International Journal of Philosophy 36 (2):53-68.
    This paper focuses on the framework for the compositional relations of properties in the sciences, or "realization relations", offered by Ken Aizawa and Carl Gillett (A&G) in a series of papers, and in particular on the analysis of "multiple realizations" they build upon it. I argue that A&G's analysis of multiple realization requires an account of levels and I try to show, then, that the A&G framework is not successful under any of the extant accounts of levels. There is consequently (...)
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  33. The Counter-Revolution Over Multiple Realization: Thomas W. Polger and Lawrence A. Shapiro: The Multiple Realization Book. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2016, Xiv+258pp, $35 PB. [REVIEW]Ronald Endicott - 2017 - Metascience 26 (2):229-232.
    This is a largely expository review of Thomas Polger’s and Laurence Shapiro’s The Multiple Realization Book (Oxford Press 2016).
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  34. Review of Thomas W. Polger and Lawrence A. Shapiro: The Multiple Realization Book. [REVIEW]Marion Godman - 2017 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science Book Reviews.
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  35. Crosscutting Psycho-Neural Taxonomies: The Case of Episodic Memory.Muhammad Ali Khalidi - 2017 - Philosophical Explorations 20 (2):191-208.
    I will begin by proposing a taxonomy of taxonomic positions regarding the mind–brain: localism, globalism, revisionism, and contextualism, and will go on to focus on the last position. Although some versions of contextualism have been defended by various researchers, they largely limit themselves to a version of neural contextualism: different brain regions perform different functions in different neural contexts. I will defend what I call “environmental-etiological contextualism,” according to which the psychological functions carried out by various neural regions can only (...)
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  36. Review of The Multiple Realization Book by Thomas W. Polger & Lawrence A. Shapiro (Oxford: Oxford University Press). [REVIEW]Tuomas K. Pernu - 2017 - Metapsychology Online Reviews 21.
  37. Flat Physicalism: Some Implications.Orly Shenker - 2017 - Iyyun 66:211-225.
    Flat Physicalism is a theory of through and through type reductive physicalism, understood in light of recent results in the conceptual foundations of physics. In Flat Physicalism, as in physics, so-called "high level" concepts and laws are nothing but partial descriptions of the complete states of affairs of the universe. "Flat physicalism" generalizes this idea, to form a reductive picture in which there is no room for levels, neither explanatory nor ontological. The paper explains how phenomena that seem to be (...)
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  38. Three Levels of Semiosis: Three Kinds of Kinds.F. Alrøe Hugo - 2016 - Cybernetics and Human Knowing 23 (2):23-38.
    In philosophy, there is an as yet unresolved discussion on whether there are different kinds of kinds and what those kinds are. In particular, there is a distinction between indifferent kinds, which are unaffected by observation and representation, and interactive kinds, which respond to being studied in ways that alter the very kinds under study. This is in essence a discussion on ontologies and, I argue, more precisely about ontological levels. The discussion of kinds of kinds can be resolved by (...)
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  39. The Explanatory Virtue of Abstracting Away From Idiosyncratic and Messy Detail.Christopher Clarke - 2016 - Philosophical Studies 173 (6):1429-1449.
    Some explanations are relatively abstract: they abstract away from the idiosyncratic or messy details of the case in hand. The received wisdom in philosophy is that this is a virtue for any explanation to possess. I argue that the apparent consensus on this point is illusory. When philosophers make this claim, they differ on which of four alternative varieties of abstractness they have in mind. What’s more, for each variety of abstractness there are several alternative reasons to think that the (...)
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  40. Of Brains and Planets: On a Causal Criterion for Mind-Brain Identities.Vera Hoffmann-Kolss - 2016 - Synthese 193 (4):1177-1189.
    Whether mental properties are identical with neural properties is one of the central questions of contemporary philosophy of mind. Many philosophers agree that even if mental properties are identical with neural properties, the mind-brain identity thesis cannot be established on empirical grounds, but only be vindicated by theoretical philosophical considerations. In his paper ‘When Is a Brain Like the Planet?’, Clark Glymour proposes a causal criterion for local property identifications and claims that this criterion can be used to empirically establish (...)
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  41. The Unity of Neuroscience: A Flat View.Arnon Levy - 2016 - Synthese 193 (12):3843-3863.
    This paper offers a novel view of unity in neuroscience. I set out by discussing problems with the classical account of unity-by-reduction, due to Oppenheim and Putnam. That view relies on a strong notion of levels, which has substantial problems. A more recent alternative, the mechanistic “mosaic” view due to Craver, does not have such problems. But I argue that the mosaic ideal of unity is too minimal, and we should, if possible, aspire for more. Relying on a number of (...)
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  42. Multiple Realization and Expressive Power in Mathematics and Ethics.David Liggins - 2016 - In Uri D. Leibowitz & Neil Sinclair (eds.), Explanation in Ethics and Mathematics: Debunking and Dispensability. Oxford University Press.
    According to a popular ‘explanationist’ argument for moral or mathematical realism the best explanation of some phenomena are moral or mathematical, and this implies the relevant form of realism. One popular way to resist the premiss of such arguments is to hold that any supposed explanation provided by moral or mathematical properties is in fact provided only by the non-moral or non-mathematical grounds of those properties. Many realists have responded to this objection by urging that the explanations provided by the (...)
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  43. Computation and Multiple Realizability.Marcin Miłkowski - 2016 - In Vincent Müller (ed.), Fundamental Issues of Artificial Intelligence. Springer. pp. 29-41.
    Multiple realizability (MR) is traditionally conceived of as the feature of computational systems, and has been used to argue for irreducibility of higher-level theories. I will show that there are several ways a computational system may be seen to display MR. These ways correspond to (at least) five ways one can conceive of the function of the physical computational system. However, they do not match common intuitions about MR. I show that MR is deeply interest-related, and for this reason, difficult (...)
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  44. Mapping the Mind: Bridge Laws and the Psycho-Neural Interface.Marco J. Nathan & Guillermo Del Pinal - 2016 - Synthese 193 (2):637-657.
    Recent advancements in the brain sciences have enabled researchers to determine, with increasing accuracy, patterns and locations of neural activation associated with various psychological functions. These techniques have revived a longstanding debate regarding the relation between the mind and the brain: while many authors claim that neuroscientific data can be employed to advance theories of higher cognition, others defend the so-called ‘autonomy’ of psychology. Settling this significant issue requires understanding the nature of the bridge laws used at the psycho-neural interface. (...)
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  45. The Multiple Realization Book.Thomas W. Polger & Lawrence A. Shapiro - 2016 - Oxford University Press UK.
    Since Hilary Putnam offered multiple realization as an empirical hypothesis in the 1960s, philosophical consensus has turned against the idea that mental processes are identifiable with brain processes, and multiple realization has become the keystone of the 'antireductive consensus' across philosophy of science. Thomas W. Polger and Lawrence A. Shapiro offer the first book-length investigation of multiple realization, which serves as a starting point to a series of philosophically sophisticated and empirically informed arguments that cast doubt on the generality of (...)
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  46. Penyebaban Sosial (Social Causation) dalam Individualisme Non-Reduktif R. Keith Sawyer.Banin Diar Sukmono - 2016 - Cogito: Jurnal Mahasiswa Filsafat 3 (1):23-48.
    Artikel ini bertujuan untuk memaparkan bagaimana penyebaban sosial dapat terjadi dalam perspektif individualisme non-reduktif (Non-reductive Individualism/NRI) R. Keith Sawyer. NRI adalah perluasan argumen fisikalisme non-reduktif dari filsafat akal budi untuk memberikan bingkai (framework) baru dalam melihat debat ontologis dan metodologis filsafat ilmu sosial. Cara yang digunakan adalah membasiskan landasan ontologis ilmu sosial pada eksistensi individu (individualisme ontologis), sekaligus mengiyakan dua level analisis properti, yakni level individual (bawah) dan sosial (atas) (dualisme properti). Mengingat posisi non-reduktif selalu dibayangi problem overdeterminasi dan epifenomena (...)
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  47. Multiple Realization and the Commensurability of Taxonomies.John Zerilli - 2016 - Synthese:1-17.
    The past two decades have witnessed a revival of interest in multiple realization and multiply realized kinds. Bechtel and Mundale’s :175–207, 1999) illuminating discussion of the subject must no doubt be credited with having generated much of this renewed interest. Among other virtues, their paper expresses what seems to be an important insight about multiple realization: that unless we keep a consistent grain across realized and realizing kinds, claims alleging the multiple realization of psychological kinds are vulnerable to refutation. In (...)
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  48. Ahistorical Homology and Multiple Realizability.Sergio Balari & Guillermo Lorenzo - 2015 - Philosophical Psychology 28 (6):881-902.
    The Mind-Brain Identity Theory lived a short life as a respectable philosophical position in the late 1950s, until Hilary Putnam developed his famous argument on the multiple realizability of mental states. The argument was, and still is, taken as the definitive demonstration of the falsity of Identity Theory and the foundation on which contemporary functionalist computational cognitive science was to be grounded. In this paper, in the wake of some contemporary philosophers, we reopen the case for Identity Theory and offer (...)
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  49. Realization Relations in Metaphysics.Umut Baysan - 2015 - Minds and Machines (3):1-14.
    “Realization” is a technical term that is used by metaphysicians, philosophers of mind, and philosophers of science to denote some dependence relation that is thought to obtain between higher-level properties and lower-level properties. It is said that mental properties are realized by physical properties; functional and computational properties are realized by first-order properties that occupy certain causal/functional roles; dispositional properties are realized by categorical properties; so on and so forth. Given this wide usage of the term “realization”, it would be (...)
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  50. The Special Science Dilemma and How Culture Solves It.Marion Godman - 2015 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 93 (3):1-18.
    I argue that there is a tension between the claim that at least some kinds in the special sciences are multiply realized and the claim that the reason why kinds are prized by science is that they enter into a variety of different empirical generalizations. Nevertheless, I show that this tension ceases in the case of ‘cultural homologues’—such as specific ideologies, religions, and folk wisdom. I argue that the instances of such special science kinds do have several projectable properties in (...)
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