Categorizing the Mental

Philosophical Quarterly 66 (265):745-759 (2016)
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A common view in the philosophy of mind and philosophy of psychology is that there is an ideally correct way of categorizing the structures and operations of the mind, and that the goal of neuroscience and psychology is to find this correct categorizational scheme. Categories which cannot find a place within this correct framework ought to be eliminated from scientific practice. In this paper, I argue that this general idea runs counter to productive scientific practices. Such a view ignores the plurality of aims and goals that neuroscientists and psychologists have in studying mental phenomena, and the necessity of employing distinct classificatory frameworks to achieve them.
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