Mapping the mind: bridge laws and the psycho-neural interface

Synthese 193 (2):637-657 (2016)
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Abstract

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. While these laws have been the topic of extensive discussion, such debates have mostly focused on a particular type of link: reductive laws. Reductive laws are problematic: they face notorious philosophical objections and they are too scarce to substantiate current research at the intersection of psychology and neuroscience. The aim of this article is to provide a systematic analysis of a different kind of bridge laws—associative laws—which play a central, albeit overlooked role in scientific practice

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Author Profiles

Guillermo Del Pinal
University of Massachusetts, Amherst
Marco J. Nathan
University of Denver

Citations of this work

Mixtures and Psychological Inference with Resting State fMRI.Joseph McCaffrey & David Danks - 2022 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 73 (3):583-611.

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References found in this work

What do philosophers believe?David Bourget & David J. Chalmers - 2014 - Philosophical Studies 170 (3):465-500.
Physicalism, or Something Near Enough.Jaegwon Kim - 2005 - Princeton University Press.
The Structure of Science.Ernest Nagel - 1961 - Les Etudes Philosophiques 17 (2):275-275.

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