Reducing mind to molecular pathways: Explicating the reductionism implicit in current cellular and molecular neuroscience [Book Review]
Synthese 151 (3):411-434 (2006)
As opposed to the dismissive attitude toward reductionism that is popular in current philosophy of mind, a “ruthless reductionism” is alive and thriving in “molecular and cellular cognition”—a field of research within cellular and molecular neuroscience, the current mainstream of the discipline. Basic experimental practices and emerging results from this field imply that two common assertions by philosophers and cognitive scientists are false: (1) that we do not know much about how the brain works, and (2) that lower-level neuroscience cannot explain cognition and complex behavior directly. These experimental practices involve intervening directly with molecular components of sub-cellular and gene expression pathways in neurons and then measuring specific behaviors. These behaviors are tracked using tests that are widely accepted by experimental psychologists to study the psychological phenomenon at issue (e.g., memory, attention, and perception). Here I illustrate these practices and their importance for explanation and reduction in current mainstream neuroscience by describing recent work on social recognition memory in mammals.
|Keywords||LONG-TERM-MEMORY ELEMENT-BINDING PROTEIN DEPENDENT K+ CHANNEL SOCIAL RECOGNITION TARGETED MUTATION LATE-PHASE LTP POTENTIATION MECHANISMS MICE|
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References found in this work BETA
Neurophilosophy: Toward A Unified Science of the Mind-Brain.Patricia S. Churchland - 1986 - MIT Press.
Thinking About Mechanisms.Peter K. Machamer, Lindley Darden & Carl F. Craver - 2000 - Philosophy of Science 67 (1):1-25.
Citations of this work BETA
Integrating Psychology and Neuroscience: Functional Analyses as Mechanism Sketches.Gualtiero Piccinini & Carl Craver - 2011 - Synthese 183 (3):283-311.
The Cognitive Neuroscience Revolution.Worth Boone & Gualtiero Piccinini - 2016 - Synthese 193 (5):1509-1534.
The Multiplicity of Experimental Protocols: A Challenge to Reductionist and Non-Reductionist Models of the Unity of Neuroscience.Jacqueline Anne Sullivan - 2009 - Synthese 167 (3):511-539.
Giving Up on Convergence and Autonomy: Why the Theories of Psychology and Neuroscience Are Codependent as Well as Irreconcilable.Eric Hochstein - 2015 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A:1-19.
Causation at Different Levels: Tracking the Commitments of Mechanistic Explanations.Peter Fazekas & Gergely Kertész - 2011 - Biology and Philosophy 26 (3):365-383.
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