No Levels, No Problems: Downward Causation in Neuroscience

Philosophy of Science 80 (5):1042-1052 (2013)
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Abstract

I show that the recent account of levels in neuroscience proposed by Craver and Bechtel is unsatisfactory since it fails to provide a plausible criterion for being at the same level and is incompatible with Craver and Bechtel’s account of downward causation. Furthermore, I argue that no distinct notion of levels is needed for analyzing explanations and causal issues in neuroscience: it is better to rely on more well-defined notions such as composition and scale. One outcome of this is that apparent cases of downward causation can be analyzed away.

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Markus Eronen
University of Groningen

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