From Psychology to Neuroscience: A New Reductive Account

Login using
Free download. Book file PDF easily for everyone and every device. You can download and read online From Psychology to Neuroscience: A New Reductive Account file PDF Book only if you are registered here. And also you can download or read online all Book PDF file that related with From Psychology to Neuroscience: A New Reductive Account book. Happy reading From Psychology to Neuroscience: A New Reductive Account Bookeveryone. Download file Free Book PDF From Psychology to Neuroscience: A New Reductive Account at Complete PDF Library. This Book have some digital formats such us :paperbook, ebook, kindle, epub, fb2 and another formats. Here is The CompletePDF Book Library. It's free to register here to get Book file PDF From Psychology to Neuroscience: A New Reductive Account Pocket Guide.

source site Ruthless reductionism: A review essay of John Bickle's philosophy and neuroscience: A ruthlessly reductive account review with Huib L. John Bickle's new book on philosophy and neuroscience is aptly subtitled 'a ruthlessly reductive account'. His 'new wave metascience' is a massive attack on the relative autonomy that psychology enjoyed until recently, and goes even beyond his previous Bickle, J.

Psychoneural reduction: The new wave. Reduction of functional psychology to cognitive neuroscience is no longer ruthless enough; we should now look rather to cellular or mole… Read more John Bickle's new book on philosophy and neuroscience is aptly subtitled 'a ruthlessly reductive account'. Reduction of functional psychology to cognitive neuroscience is no longer ruthless enough; we should now look rather to cellular or molecular neuroscience at the lowest possible level for explanations of memory, consciousness and attention.

Bickle presents a fascinating set of experimental cases of such molecule-to-mind explanations. This book qualifies as a showcase of naturalism in the philosophy of mind.

Ruthless reductionism: Review essay of John Bickle - Philosophy and Neuroscience

Naturally, many of the traditional conceptual approaches in the philosophy of mind are given short shrift, but - in Bickle's metascientific scheme - the role of philosophy of science also seems reduced to explicating laboratory findings. The present reviewers think that this reductionism suffers from overstretching; in particular, the idea of 'explanation in a single bound' from molecule to mind is a bit too ruthless. Still, Bickle's arguments are worth serious attention.

Theory in psychology: a review essay of Andre Kukla's Methods of theoretical psychology with H. Looren De Jong and S. Philosophy of Psychology. We argue in this paper that so-called new wave reductionism fails to capture the nature of the interlevel relations between psychology and neuroscience. Bickle , Psychoneural reduction of the genuinely cognitive: some accomplished facts, Philosophical Psychology, 8, ; , Psychoneural reduction: the new wave, Cambridge, MA: MIT Press has claimed that a bottom-up reduction of the psychological concepts of learning and memory to the concepts of neuroscience has in fact already bee… Read more We argue in this paper that so-called new wave reductionism fails to capture the nature of the interlevel relations between psychology and neuroscience.

Bickle , Psychoneural reduction of the genuinely cognitive: some accomplished facts, Philosophical Psychology, 8, ; , Psychoneural reduction: the new wave, Cambridge, MA: MIT Press has claimed that a bottom-up reduction of the psychological concepts of learning and memory to the concepts of neuroscience has in fact already been accomplished. An investigation of current research on the phenomenon of long-term potentiation reveals that this claim overstates the facts.

Both the psychological and the neural concepts involved have not yet stabilized and face further correction under the influence of both bottom-up and top-down selection pressures. In addition, psychological concepts often refer to functions, and functions are indispensable and irreducible. Function ascriptions pick out objective patterns involving historical factors and distal goals. This view of functions implies that psychological facts cannot be simply read off from the neurophysiological facts. Although psychological theorizing is constrained by neurophysiology and vice versa , psychology remains distinct at least to some degree.

This review essay critically discusses Andre Kukla's Methods of theoretical psychology. Any explanation of consciousness that admits the existence of appearances but is rooted in materialist science will fail because, on its own account, matter and energy do not intrinsically have appearances, never mind those corresponding to secondary qualities. We could, of course, by all means change our notion of matter; but if we do not, and the brain is a piece of matter, then it cannot explain the experience of things. Some neurophilosophers might respond that science does not eliminate appearance; rather, it replaces one appearance with another — fickle immediate and conscious appearance with one that is more true to the reality of the objects it attends to.

But this is not what science does — least of all physical science, which is supposed to give us the final report on what there is in the universe, for which matter or mass-energy is the ultimate reality, and equations linking quantities are the best way of revealing the inner essence of this reality. For, again, it is of the very nature of mass-energy, as it is envisaged in physics, not to have any kind of appearance in itself.

This lack of appearance to mass-energy may still seem counterintuitive, but it will become clearer when we examine a well-known defense, again made by John Searle, of the theory that mind and brain are identical — or specifically, that experiences can be found in neural impulses because they are the same thing. In his book Intentionality , Searle — who, as already noted, is committed to a neural account of consciousness — addresses the most obvious problem associated with the claim that experiences are identical with neural activity: experiences are nothing like neural activity, and the least one might expect of something is that it should be like itself.

Clearly, neural activity and experiences are not two aspects of the same thing in the way that the front and back of a house are two aspects of the same house. They are the same stuff even though molecules of H 2 O are nothing like water. Water is wet, he argues, while individual molecules are not. This explanation, of course, is completely inadequate, because it simply sets us at a further regress from the answer. We can see why in a section where Searle responds to this famous argument made by Leibniz in The Monadology :.

And supposing that there were a machine so constructed as to think, feel, and have perception, we could conceive of it as enlarged and yet preserving the same proportions, so that we might enter it as into a mill. And this granted, we should only find on visiting it, pieces which push against another, but never anything by which to explain perception.

This must be sought for, therefore, in the simple substance and not in the composite or in the machine.

But in both cases we would be looking at the system at the wrong level. The liquidity of water is not to be found at the level of the individual molecule, nor [is] the visual perception Searle in fact requires experience, observation, description — in short, consciousness — to generate the two levels of his water analogy, which are meant to sustain his argument that two stuffs can be the same stuff even if they do not look like one another.

This supposed explanation evades the question of experience even more than does the first. For what Searle is in effect arguing, though he does not seem to notice it, is that the relationship between neural activity and experience is like the relationship between two kinds of experience of the same stuff.

And this is unsatisfactory because the problem he is supposedly solving is that neural impulses are not like experiences at all. This rebuttal also applies — even more obviously, in fact — to another, very popular analogy, between dots of newsprint and a picture in the newspaper as neural activity and experiences. The implicit idea is that each level of complexity is governed by its own distinct set of laws.

Philosophy of mind

That flies in the face of reductive materialism — not to mention raises some very difficult questions about the identicality of these different kinds of matter. A pebble may be seen as something very simple — one pebble — or something infinitely complex — a system of a trillion trillion sub-atomic particles interacting in such a way as to sustain a static equilibrium. The persistent materialist may launch a final defense of the argument, to the effect that the particular descriptions of water and H 2 O molecules Searle mentions do not really depend on experience at all.

When we describe the stuff as liquid we are just describing those very molecules at a higher level of description than that of the individual molecule. Water and H 2 O molecules, considered solely as physical things, are identical, and have all of the same properties. If we remove from the analogy the differing appearances to us of water and H 2 O molecules as sources of their un-likeness, then all Searle has demonstrated is how a thing can be unlike a part of itself, rather than unlike itself.

This is trivially true, and does not apply in any event to the question at hand if neural impulses are taken to be identical to experiences. This is desperate stuff: one could hardly expect some thing A to cause some thing B with which it is identical, because nothing can cause itself. In any event, the bottom line is that the molecules of H 2 O and the wet stuff that is water are two appearances of the same thing — two conscious takes on the same stuff. They cannot be analogous to, respectively, that which supposedly causes conscious experiences neural impulses and conscious experiences themselves.

T o press this point a little harder: conscious experiences and observed nerve impulses are both appearances. But nerve impulses do not have any appearance in themselves; they require a conscious subject observing them to appear — and it is irrelevant that the observation is highly mediated through instrumentation. Like all material items, nerve impulses lack appearances absent an observer. And given that they are material events lacking appearances in themselves, there is no reason why they should bring about the appearances of things other than themselves.

It is magical thinking to imagine that material events in a material object should be appearings of objects other than themselves. Material objects require consciousness in order to appear. All Searle has explained, again, is how two different appearances of the same thing can be unlike each other; but the problem he means to solve in the first place — or should mean to solve — is how something that itself has no appearance can give rise to, in fact be identical to, appearances.

3. Neuroscience and Psychosemantics

For what Searle does not account for is how knowing that a particular brain is having a particular experience is supposed to be enough to deliver actually having that experience yourself. These are absurd conclusions, as we will see. From a more practical standpoint, we can see why it will never be enough to dismiss the problem of appearances out of hand by appealing either to the idea that perceptions are just brain activity like any other brain activity, or the idea that consciousness and so all appearance is an illusion.

Neurophilosophers should be able to recognize this problem, since they acknowledge that the vast majority of neural impulses are not associated with appearances or consciousness of any sort. The search for neural correlates of consciousness has in fact turned up clusters, patterns, and locations of activity that are not in any significant respect different from neural activity that is not so correlated. That which requires an observer cannot be the basis of an observation.

The fact that intentionality does not fit into the materialist world picture has often been noted, but it is important to emphasize its anomalous nature because it lies at the root of pretty well everything that distances us from the material world, including other animals. The requirement of admitting the existence of a perceiving self is, of course, enough to make neurophilosophers hostile to the notion of the subject.

There are no appearances without viewpoints: for example, there are no appearances of a rock that are neither from the front of it nor from the back of it nor from any other angle. And since the material world has of itself no viewpoints, it does not, of itself, have centers — or, for that matter, peripheries. Absent from it is that which forms the basic contents of consciousness: the phenomenal appearances of the world.

T he loss of appearances is not an accidental mislaying. It is an inevitable consequence of the materialist conception of matter as we have it today. The brain, being a piece of matter, must be person-free. This is true not only by definition but also in other, specific senses. Persons — or selves — have two additional features which cannot be captured in neural terms.

The first is unity in multiplicity. At any given moment, I am aware of a multitude of experiences: sensations, perceptions, memories, thoughts, emotions. I am c o -conscious of them — that is, I am aware of each of them at once, so that they are integrated into a unity of sorts. Moreover, co-consciousness includes consciousness of things I cannot currently see or touch: it includes consciousness of the absent past, of the absent elsewhere of the present, and of the possible future. It is difficult to see how this integration is possible in neural terms, since neurophysiology assigns these experiences to spatially different parts of the brain.

Aspects of consciousness are supposedly kept very tidily apart: the pathways for perception are separate from those for emotion, which are separate from those for memory, which are separate from those for motivation, which are separate from those for judgment, and so on. Within perception, each of the senses of vision, hearing, smell, and so forth has different pathways and destinations. And within, say, visual perception, different parts of the brain are supposed to be responsible for receiving the color, shape, distance, classification, purpose, and emotional significance of seen objects.

When, however, I see my red hat on the table, over there, and see that it is squashed, and feel cross about it, while I hear you laughing, and I recognize the laughter as yours, and I am upset, and I note that the taxi I have ordered has arrived so that I can catch the train that I am aware I must not miss — when all of these things occur in my consciousness at once, many things that are kept apart must somehow be brought together. There is no model of such synthesis in the brain. If all those components of the moment of consciousness came together in the same spot, if their activity converged, they would lose their separate identity and the distinct elements would be lost in a meaningless mush.

When I look at my hat, I see that it is red, and squashed, and over there, and a hat, and all of the rest. Here is the challenge presented to neuroscience by the experienced unity and multiplicity of the conscious moment: that which is brought together has also to be kept apart. Consciousness is a unification that retains multiplicity.

Neurophilosophers have tried to deal with this problem by arguing that, while the components of experience retain their individual locations in the brain, the activity that occurs in those different locations is bound together.

Philosophy of mind - Wikipedia

The mechanism for this binding is supposed to be either rhythmic mass neural activity or emergent physical forces which transcend the boundaries of individual neurons, such as electromagnetic fields or quantum coherence arising out of the properties of nerve membranes. This way of imagining the unity of consciousness assumes, without any reason, that linked activity across large sections of the brain — say, a coherent pattern of rhythmic activity, made visible as such to an observer by instrumentation — will be translated, or more precisely will translate itself , from an objective fact to a subjective unity.

We are required to accept that something that is observed as an internal whole — via instrumentation — will be experienced as a whole, or itself be the experience of a whole, such that it will deliver the wholeness of a subset of items in the world while at the very same time retaining the separateness of those items. The other distinctive feature of subjectivity is temporal depth.

The human subject is aware of a past his own and the shared past of communities and cultures and reaches into a future his own and the shared future. This theory has been demonstrated, to the satisfaction of many neurophysiologists and cognitive neuroscientists, in creatures as disparate as apes and fruit flies. In reality, Kandel did not examine anything that should really be called memor y — it was actually altered behavior in response to training by means of an electric shock — essentially a conditioned reflex.

A sea slug does not, so far as anybody knows, have semantic memory of facts — that is, memory of facts as facts, laden with concepts. It does not have explicit episodic memories of events — that is, events remembered as located in the past. Nor does it have autobiographical memories — that is, events remembered as located in its own past. It does not even have an explicit sense of the past or of time in general, and even less of a collective past where shared history is located.

Nor can one seriously imagine an elderly sea slug actively trying to remember earlier events, racking its meager allocation of twenty thousand neurons to recall something, any more than one can think of it feeling nostalgic for its youth when it believed that it still had a marvelous life ahead of it. Dualism and monism are the two central schools of thought on the mind—body problem, although nuanced views have arisen that do not fit one or the other category neatly. Monism is the position that mind and body are not ontologically distinct entities independent substances. This view was first advocated in Western philosophy by Parmenides in the 5th century BCE and was later espoused by the 17th-century rationalist Baruch Spinoza.

Physicalists maintain various positions on the prospects of reducing mental properties to physical properties many of whom adopt compatible forms of property dualism , [8] [9] [10] [11] [12] [13] and the ontological status of such mental properties remains unclear. Neutral monists such as Ernst Mach and William James argue that events in the world can be thought of as either mental psychological or physical depending on the network of relationships into which they enter, and dual-aspect monists such as Spinoza adhere to the position that there is some other, neutral substance, and that both matter and mind are properties of this unknown substance.

The most common monisms in the 20th and 21st centuries have all been variations of physicalism; these positions include behaviorism , the type identity theory , anomalous monism and functionalism. Most modern philosophers of mind adopt either a reductive physicalist or non-reductive physicalist position, maintaining in their different ways that the mind is not something separate from the body.

Modern philosophers of mind continue to ask how the subjective qualities and the intentionality of mental states and properties can be explained in naturalistic terms.

  • What’s Old Is New Again: Kemeny-Oppenheim Reduction at Work in Current Molecular Neuroscience?
  • Antibody Methods and Protocols.
  • Navigation menu.
  • The Philosophy of Neuroscience.
  • Universität Düsseldorf: Publications.

The mind—body problem concerns the explanation of the relationship that exists between minds , or mental processes , and bodily states or processes. Our perceptual experiences depend on stimuli that arrive at our various sensory organs from the external world, and these stimuli cause changes in our mental states, ultimately causing us to feel a sensation, which may be pleasant or unpleasant. Someone's desire for a slice of pizza, for example, will tend to cause that person to move his or her body in a specific manner and in a specific direction to obtain what he or she wants.

The question, then, is how it can be possible for conscious experiences to arise out of a lump of gray matter endowed with nothing but electrochemical properties. A related problem is how someone's propositional attitudes e. Dualism is a set of views about the relationship between mind and matter or body.

It begins with the claim that mental phenomena are, in some respects, non- physical. In Western Philosophy , the earliest discussions of dualist ideas are in the writings of Plato who maintained that humans' "intelligence" a faculty of the mind or soul could not be identified with, or explained in terms of, their physical body. He was therefore the first to formulate the mind—body problem in the form in which it still exists today.

Recommended for you

The most frequently used argument in favor of dualism appeals to the common-sense intuition that conscious experience is distinct from inanimate matter. If asked what the mind is, the average person would usually respond by identifying it with their self , their personality, their soul , or some other such entity. They would almost certainly deny that the mind simply is the brain, or vice versa, finding the idea that there is just one ontological entity at play to be too mechanistic, or simply unintelligible.

Another important argument in favor of dualism is that the mental and the physical seem to have quite different, and perhaps irreconcilable, properties. So, for example, one can reasonably ask what a burnt finger feels like, or what a blue sky looks like, or what nice music sounds like to a person. But it is meaningless, or at least odd, to ask what a surge in the uptake of glutamate in the dorsolateral portion of the prefrontal cortex feels like. Philosophers of mind call the subjective aspects of mental events " qualia " or "raw feels".

There are qualia involved in these mental events that seem particularly difficult to reduce to anything physical. David Chalmers explains this argument by stating that we could conceivably know all the objective information about something, such as the brain states and wavelengths of light involved with seeing the color red, but still not know something fundamental about the situation — what it is like to see the color red. If consciousness the mind can exist independently of physical reality the brain , one must explain how physical memories are created concerning consciousness.

Dualism must therefore explain how consciousness affects physical reality. One possible explanation is that of a miracle, proposed by Arnold Geulincx and Nicolas Malebranche , where all mind—body interactions require the direct intervention of God. Another possible argument that has been proposed by C.

Lewis [33] is the Argument from Reason : if, as monism implies, all of our thoughts are the effects of physical causes, then we have no reason for assuming that they are also the consequent of a reasonable ground. Knowledge, however, is apprehended by reasoning from ground to consequent. Therefore, if monism is correct, there would be no way of knowing this—or anything else—we could not even suppose it, except by a fluke.

The zombie argument is based on a thought experiment proposed by Todd Moody, and developed by David Chalmers in his book The Conscious Mind. The basic idea is that one can imagine one's body, and therefore conceive the existence of one's body, without any conscious states being associated with this body. Chalmers' argument is that it seems possible that such a being could exist because all that is needed is that all and only the things that the physical sciences describe about a zombie must be true of it. Since none of the concepts involved in these sciences make reference to consciousness or other mental phenomena, and any physical entity can be by definition described scientifically via physics , the move from conceivability to possibility is not such a large one.

It has been argued under physicalism that one must either believe that anyone including oneself might be a zombie, or that no one can be a zombie—following from the assertion that one's own conviction about being or not being a zombie is a product of the physical world and is therefore no different from anyone else's. This argument has been expressed by Dennett who argues that "Zombies think they are conscious, think they have qualia, think they suffer pains—they are just 'wrong' according to this lamentable tradition in ways that neither they nor we could ever discover!

Interactionist dualism, or simply interactionism, is the particular form of dualism first espoused by Descartes in the Meditations. Descartes' famous argument for this position can be summarized as follows: Seth has a clear and distinct idea of his mind as a thinking thing that has no spatial extension i. He also has a clear and distinct idea of his body as something that is spatially extended, subject to quantification and not able to think.

It follows that mind and body are not identical because they have radically different properties. At the same time, however, it is clear that Seth's mental states desires, beliefs, etc. Descartes' argument crucially depends on the premise that what Seth believes to be "clear and distinct" ideas in his mind are necessarily true. Many contemporary philosophers doubt this.

Freud claimed that a psychologically-trained observer can understand a person's unconscious motivations better than the person himself does. Duhem has shown that a philosopher of science can know a person's methods of discovery better than that person herself does, while Malinowski has shown that an anthropologist can know a person's customs and habits better than the person whose customs and habits they are. He also asserts that modern psychological experiments that cause people to see things that are not there provide grounds for rejecting Descartes' argument, because scientists can describe a person's perceptions better than the person herself can.

Psychophysical parallelism , or simply parallelism , is the view that mind and body, while having distinct ontological statuses, do not causally influence one another. Instead, they run along parallel paths mind events causally interact with mind events and brain events causally interact with brain events and only seem to influence each other. Although Leibniz was an ontological monist who believed that only one type of substance, the monad , exists in the universe, and that everything is reducible to it, he nonetheless maintained that there was an important distinction between "the mental" and "the physical" in terms of causation.

He held that God had arranged things in advance so that minds and bodies would be in harmony with each other. This is known as the doctrine of pre-established harmony. Occasionalism is the view espoused by Nicholas Malebranche as well as Islamic philosophers such as Abu Hamid Muhammad ibn Muhammad al-Ghazali that asserts that all supposedly causal relations between physical events, or between physical and mental events, are not really causal at all.

While body and mind are different substances, causes whether mental or physical are related to their effects by an act of God's intervention on each specific occasion. Property dualism is the view that the world is constituted of just one kind of substance — the physical kind — and there exist two distinct kinds of properties: physical properties and mental properties.

What Neuroscience Cannot Tell Us About Ourselves

tacidysaze.tk: From Psychology to Neuroscience: A New Reductive Account ( Epistemische Studien) (): Patrice Soom: Books. Jun 2, Request PDF on ResearchGate | From Psychology to Neuroscience: A New Reductive Account | This book explores the mind-body issue from.

In other words, it is the view that non-physical, mental properties such as beliefs, desires and emotions inhere in some physical bodies at least, brains. How mental and physical properties relate causally depends on the variety of property dualism in question, and is not always a clear issue. Sub-varieties of property dualism include:. Dual aspect theory or dual-aspect monism is the view that the mental and the physical are two aspects of, or perspectives on, the same substance. Thus it is a mixed position, which is monistic in some respects.

In modern philosophical writings, the theory's relationship to neutral monism has become somewhat ill-defined, but one proffered distinction says that whereas neutral monism allows the context of a given group of neutral elements and the relationships into which they enter to determine whether the group can be thought of as mental, physical, both, or neither, dual-aspect theory suggests that the mental and the physical are manifestations or aspects of some underlying substance, entity or process that is itself neither mental nor physical as normally understood.

Various formulations of dual-aspect monism also require the mental and the physical to be complementary, mutually irreducible and perhaps inseparable though distinct. This is a philosophy of mind that regards the degrees of freedom between mental and physical well-being as not necessarily synonymous thus implying an experiential dualism between body and mind. An example of these disparate degrees of freedom is given by Allan Wallace who notes that it is "experientially apparent that one may be physically uncomfortable—for instance, while engaging in a strenuous physical workout—while mentally cheerful; conversely, one may be mentally distraught while experiencing physical comfort".

This philosophy also is a proponent of causal dualism which is defined as the dual ability for mental states and physical states to affect one another. Mental states can cause changes in physical states and vice versa. However, unlike cartesian dualism or some other systems, experiential dualism does not posit two fundamental substances in reality: mind and matter.

Rather, experiential dualism is to be understood as a conceptual framework that gives credence to the qualitative difference between the experience of mental and physical states. Experiential dualism is accepted as the conceptual framework of Madhyamaka Buddhism. Madhayamaka Buddhism goes even further, finding fault with the monist view of physicalist philosophies of mind as well in that these generally posit matter and energy as the fundamental substance of reality. Nonetheless, this does not imply that the cartesian dualist view is correct, rather Madhyamaka regards as error any affirming view of a fundamental substance to reality.

In denying the independent self-existence of all the phenomena that make up the world of our experience, the Madhyamaka view departs from both the substance dualism of Descartes and the substance monism—namely, physicalism—that is characteristic of modern science. The physicalism propounded by many contemporary scientists seems to assert that the real world is composed of physical things-in-themselves, while all mental phenomena are regarded as mere appearances, devoid of any reality in and of themselves.

Much is made of this difference between appearances and reality. Indeed, physicalism, or the idea that matter is the only fundamental substance of reality, is explicitly rejected by Buddhism. In the Madhyamaka view, mental events are no more or less real than physical events. In terms of our common-sense experience, differences of kind do exist between physical and mental phenomena. While the former commonly have mass, location, velocity, shape, size, and numerous other physical attributes, these are not generally characteristic of mental phenomena. For example, we do not commonly conceive of the feeling of affection for another person as having mass or location.

These physical attributes are no more appropriate to other mental events such as sadness, a recalled image from one's childhood, the visual perception of a rose, or consciousness of any sort. Mental phenomena are, therefore, not regarded as being physical, for the simple reason that they lack many of the attributes that are uniquely characteristic of physical phenomena.

Edited by Michael Ruse

Mice are naturally curious, and when offered a choice will explore novel objects for greater durations than objects they remember encountering. More than the discussion of a couple of landmark dynamicist models in neuroscience is needed in their , Kaplan and Craver also discuss the difference-of-Gaussians model of receptive field properties of mammalian visual neurons. Thus, the theory offers a more consistent and well-articulated view of the relationship between cognitive and neural phenomena that is specifically compatible with the explanatory strategies and aims of contemporary cognitive neuroscience. Davidson uses the thesis of supervenience : mental states supervene on physical states, but are not reducible to them. These philosophers reasoned that, if mental states are something material, but not behavioral, then mental states are probably identical to internal states of the brain.

Thus, Buddhism has never adopted the physicalist principle that regards only physical things as real. In contrast to dualism , monism does not accept any fundamental divisions. The fundamentally disparate nature of reality has been central to forms of eastern philosophies for over two millennia.

In Indian and Chinese philosophy , monism is integral to how experience is understood. Today, the most common forms of monism in Western philosophy are physicalist. Another form of monism, idealism , states that the only existing substance is mental. Although pure idealism, such as that of George Berkeley , is uncommon in contemporary Western philosophy, a more sophisticated variant called panpsychism , according to which mental experience and properties may be at the foundation of physical experience and properties, has been espoused by some philosophers such as Alfred North Whitehead [54] and David Ray Griffin.

Phenomenalism is the theory that representations or sense data of external objects are all that exist. Such a view was briefly adopted by Bertrand Russell and many of the logical positivists during the early 20th century. The mental and physical would then both be properties of this neutral substance. Such a position was adopted by Baruch Spinoza [7] and was popularized by Ernst Mach [56] in the 19th century. This neutral monism , as it is called, resembles property dualism. Behaviorism dominated philosophy of mind for much of the 20th century, especially the first half.

Without generalizability and the possibility of third-person examination, the behaviorists argued, psychology cannot be scientific. Parallel to these developments in psychology, a philosophical behaviorism sometimes called logical behaviorism was developed. For the behaviorist, mental states are not interior states on which one can make introspective reports. They are just descriptions of behavior or dispositions to behave in certain ways, made by third parties to explain and predict another's behavior. Philosophical behaviorism has fallen out of favor since the latter half of the 20th century, coinciding with the rise of cognitivism.

For example, behaviorism could be said to be counterintuitive when it maintains that someone is talking about behavior in the event that a person is experiencing a painful headache. Type physicalism or type-identity theory was developed by John Smart [23] and Ullin Place [59] as a direct reaction to the failure of behaviorism.

Prof. Robert Sapolsky - The Neuroscience Behind Behavior

These philosophers reasoned that, if mental states are something material, but not behavioral, then mental states are probably identical to internal states of the brain. In very simplified terms: a mental state M is nothing other than brain state B. The mental state "desire for a cup of coffee" would thus be nothing more than the "firing of certain neurons in certain brain regions". Despite its initial plausibility, the identity theory faces a strong challenge in the form of the thesis of multiple realizability , first formulated by Hilary Putnam.

However, it seems highly unlikely that all of these diverse organisms with the same pain experience are in the identical brain state. And if this is the case, then pain cannot be identical to a specific brain state. The identity theory is thus empirically unfounded. On the other hand, even granted the above, it does not follow that identity theories of all types must be abandoned.

According to token identity theories, the fact that a certain brain state is connected with only one mental state of a person does not have to mean that there is an absolute correlation between types of mental state and types of brain state. The type—token distinction can be illustrated by a simple example: the word "green" contains four types of letters g, r, e, n with two tokens occurrences of the letter e along with one each of the others.

The idea of token identity is that only particular occurrences of mental events are identical with particular occurrences or tokenings of physical events. Functionalism was formulated by Hilary Putnam and Jerry Fodor as a reaction to the inadequacies of the identity theory. Armstrong and David Kellogg Lewis formulated a version of functionalism that analyzed the mental concepts of folk psychology in terms of functional roles. Another one, psychofunctionalism , is an approach adopted by the naturalistic philosophy of mind associated with Jerry Fodor and Zenon Pylyshyn.

What all these different varieties of functionalism share in common is the thesis that mental states are characterized by their causal relations with other mental states and with sensory inputs and behavioral outputs. That is, functionalism abstracts away from the details of the physical implementation of a mental state by characterizing it in terms of non-mental functional properties. For example, a kidney is characterized scientifically by its functional role in filtering blood and maintaining certain chemical balances. From this point of view, it does not really matter whether the kidney be made up of organic tissue, plastic nanotubes or silicon chips: it is the role that it plays and its relations to other organs that define it as a kidney.

Non-reductionist philosophers hold firmly to two essential convictions with regard to mind—body relations: 1 Physicalism is true and mental states must be physical states, but 2 All reductionist proposals are unsatisfactory: mental states cannot be reduced to behavior, brain states or functional states. Donald Davidson 's anomalous monism [24] is an attempt to formulate such a physicalism. He "thinks that when one runs across what are traditionally seen as absurdities of Reason, such as akrasia or self-deception, the personal psychology framework is not to be given up in favor of the subpersonal one, but rather must be enlarged or extended so that the rationality set out by the principle of charity can be found elsewhere.

Davidson uses the thesis of supervenience : mental states supervene on physical states, but are not reducible to them. Because non-reductive physicalist theories attempt to both retain the ontological distinction between mind and body and try to solve the "surfeit of explanations puzzle" in some way; critics often see this as a paradox and point out the similarities to epiphenomenalism , in that it is the brain that is seen as the root "cause" not the mind, and the mind seems to be rendered inert.

Epiphenomenalism regards one or more mental states as the byproduct of physical brain states, having no influence on physical states. The interaction is one-way solving the "surfeit of explanations puzzle" but leaving us with non-reducible mental states as a byproduct of brain states — causally reducible, but ontologically irreducible to physical states.

Pain would be seen by epiphenomenaliasts as being caused by the brain state but as not having effects on other brain states, though it might have effects on other mental states i. Weak emergentism is a form of "non-reductive physicalism" that involves a layered view of nature, with the layers arranged in terms of increasing complexity and each corresponding to its own special science.

Some philosophers hold that emergent properties causally interact with more fundamental levels, while others maintain that higher-order properties simply supervene over lower levels without direct causal interaction.

Similar books and articles

The latter group therefore holds a less strict, or "weaker", definition of emergentism, which can be rigorously stated as follows: a property P of composite object O is emergent if it is metaphysically impossible for another object to lack property P if that object is composed of parts with intrinsic properties identical to those in O and has those parts in an identical configuration. Sometimes emergentists use the example of water having a new property when Hydrogen H and Oxygen O combine to form H 2 O water.

  • The New Men (Strangers and Brothers, Book 5)!
  • America goes to war.
  • Three Critics of the Enlightenment: Vico, Hamann, Herder (2nd Edition)!
  • 2. Eliminative Materialism and Philosophy Neuralized!
  • Reductionism?
  • Lithuania: the transition to a market economy;

In this example there "emerges" a new property of a transparent liquid that would not have been predicted by understanding hydrogen and oxygen as gases. This is analogous to physical properties of the brain giving rise to a mental state. Emergentists try to solve the notorious mind—body gap this way. One problem for emergentism is the idea of "causal closure" in the world that does not allow for a mind-to-body causation.

If one is a materialist and believes that all aspects of our common-sense psychology will find reduction to a mature cognitive neuroscience , and that non-reductive materialism is mistaken, then one can adopt a final, more radical position: eliminative materialism. There are several varieties of eliminative materialism, but all maintain that our common-sense " folk psychology " badly misrepresents the nature of some aspect of cognition.

The Churchlands often invoke the fate of other, erroneous popular theories and ontologies that have arisen in the course of history. The Churchlands believe the same eliminative fate awaits the "sentence-cruncher" model of the mind in which thought and behavior are the result of manipulating sentence-like states called " propositional attitudes ".