The autonomy of psychology in the age of neuroscience

In Phyllis McKay Illari Federica Russo (ed.), Causality in the Sciences. Oxford University Press. pp. 202--223 (2011)
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Sometimes neuroscientists discover distinct realizations for a single psychological property. In considering such cases, some philosophers have maintained that scientists will abandon the single multiply realized psychological property in favor of one or more uniquely realized psychological properties. In this paper, we build on the Dimensioned theory of realization and a companion theory of multiple realization to argue that this is not the case. Whether scientists postulate unique realizations or multiple realizations is not determined by the neuroscience alone, but by the psychological theory under examination. Thus, one might say that, in the splitting or non-splitting of properties, psychology enjoys a kind of autonomy from neuroscience.

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Ken Aizawa
Rutgers University - Newark


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