Analysis 69 (1):182-184 (2009)

Richard Gray
Cardiff University
Towards the end of Beyond Reduction Horst hypothesizes that ‘it is a general design principle of the cognitive architecture of humans that the mind possesses multiple models for understanding and interacting practically with different aspects of the world’ . The suggestion is made following a discussion of recent research in cognitive science. According to Horst, the hypothesis is also consistent with what recent non-reductionist tendencies in the philosophy of science teach us. Taken together, Horst claims these two sets of evidence motivate a new post-reductionist approach to the philosophy of mind. After outlining the route Horst takes to reach this claim, I shall raise a worry I have about the claim and the route taken to it.Beyond Reduction is in three parts. Part one frames the debate. In Chapter 1 Horst notes how naturalism is a view to which nearly all philosophers of mind, some of whom hold quite disparate views, would subscribe. He formulates a schema for naturalism that he thinks most would accept: ‘naturalism about domain D is the view that all features of D are to be accommodated within the framework of nature as it is understood by the natural sciences’ . Horst acknowledges that the schema under-describes matters. The notion of ‘accommodation’ may be understood as involving either explanation or metaphysical determination; it is also unclear how we are to understand ‘the …
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DOI 10.1093/analys/ann029
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