Neuroscience and the multiple realization of cognitive functions

Philosophy of Science 77 (3):419-456 (2010)
Authors
Carrie Figdor
University of Iowa
Abstract
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‐figdor@uiowa.edu.
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DOI 10.1086/652964
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