The shape of things to come: Psychoneural reduction and the future of psychology [Book Review]

Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences 4 (3):259-269 (2005)
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I contrast Bickle's new wave reductionismwith other relevant views about explanation across intertheoretic contexts. I then assess Bickle's empirical argument for psychoneural reduction. Bickle shows that psychology is not autonomous from neuroscience, and concludes that at least some versions of nonreductive physicalism are false. I argue this is not sufficient to establish his further claim that psychology reduces to neuroscience. Examination of Bickle's explanations reveals that they do not meet his own reductive standard. Furthermore, there are good empirical reasons to doubt that the cognitive approach to mind should be abandoned. I suggest that the near future will not see a reduction of psychology to neuroscience, so much as a replacement of both sciences by an improved form of neuropsychology



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Joseph Neisser
Grinnell College

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