Philosophy, Psychiatry and Psychology (forthcoming)
Kanaan and McGuire elegantly describe three challenges facing the use of fMRI to uncover cognitive mechanisms. They shows how these challenges ramify in the case of identifying the mechanisms responsible for psychiatric disorders. In this commentary, I would like to raise another difficulty for fMRI that also appears to ramify in similar cases. This is that there are good reasons for doubting one of the assumptions on which many fMRI studies are based: that neural mechanisms are always and everywhere sufficient for cognition. I suggest that in the case of the mechanisms underlying psychiatric disorders, this assumption should be doubted. I do not dispute that a malfunctioning neural mechanism is likely to be a necessary component of a psychiatric disorder—as Kanaan and McGuire say, the experimental evidence from cognitive neuropsychiatry gives us excellent reasons to think that this is so. My question is whether a story only in terms of these neural mechanisms is sufficient to explain the mechanism of a psychiatric disorder. Is the reduction, projected by cognitive neuropsychiatry, of psychiatric disorders to disorders in neural functioning even in principle possible? Drawing on recent concerns about the location of mental states, I argue that such a reduction is likely to fail. Even if the considerable problems raised by Kanaan and McGuire for fMRI could be addressed, we have no reason to think that the mechanisms involved in psychiatric disorders are entirely neural, and that fMRI, or even a perfect science-fiction brain-scanner, would be capable of uncovering them. Psychiatric disorders, like numerous other cognitive processes, are liable to cross the brain–world boundary in such a promiscuous way as to be resistant to neural reduction.
|Keywords||No keywords specified (fix it)|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
References found in this work BETA
No references found.
Citations of this work BETA
No citations found.
Similar books and articles
The Risk That Neurogenetic Approaches May Inflate the Psychiatric Concept of Disease and How to Cope with It.Stephan Schleim - 2008 - Poiesis and Praxis 6 (1-2):79-91.
Mental Illness as Mental: A Defence of Psychological Realism.Matthew Broome & Lisa Bortolotti - 2009 - Humana Mente 11:25-44.
Spectrum of Child Psychiatric Disorders and Ritualized Behavior: Where is the Link?Roumen Kirov - 2006 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 29 (6):622-623.
Cognitive Neuropsychiatry: Conceptual, Methodological and Philosophical Perspectives.Jakob Hohwy & Raben Rosenberg - 2005 - World Journal of Biological Psychiatry 6 (3):192-197.
The Right Not to Know: The Case of Psychiatric Disorders.Lisa Bortolotti & Heather Widdows - 2011 - Journal of Medical Ethics 37 (11):673-676.
Conceptual Challenges in the Neuroimaging of Psychiatric Disorders.Richard A. A. Kanaan & Philip K. McGuire - 2011 - Philosophy, Psychiatry, and Psychology 18 (4):323-332.
Evolutionary Psychiatry is Dead – Long Liveth Evolutionary Psychopathology.Martin Brüne - 2006 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 29 (4):408-408.
Advances in Functional Neuroimaging of Psychopathology.Lisa J. Burklund & Matthew D. Lieberman - 2011 - Philosophy, Psychiatry, and Psychology 18 (4):333-337.
Neural Sufficiency, Reductionism, and Cognitive Neuropsychiatry.Mark Sprevak - 2011 - Philosophy, Psychiatry, and Psychology 18 (4):339-344.
Added to index2009-10-09
Total downloads45 ( #117,079 of 2,178,217 )
Recent downloads (6 months)2 ( #166,012 of 2,178,217 )
How can I increase my downloads?