RUTHLESS REDUCTIONISM AND COGNITIVE SCIENCES: APPARENTLY, NOT SO RUTHLESS

Kinesis 6 (11):1-16 (2014)
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Abstract
John Bickle recently proposed a metascientific reading of certain neuroscientific practices related to phenomena traditionally studied by psychology. According to this view, the dominant explanatory proceeding in neuroscience is to apply empirical reductions to explain psychological phenomena in cellular and molecular terms, relegating the role of psychology to a mere heuristic, without explanatory power. Thus, according to the strength of the conclusions reached by this method, it puts in check the value of psychological functional explanations. In this work, we seek to reformulate some of these challenging proposals in philosophy of neuroscience. To this end, the main weaknesses of Bickle's proposal will be shown. Also, here will put into perspective some (reductionist, eliminativists?) features of ruthless reductionism, showing that this model maybe represent only a reading of the pragmatic use of certain methods in neuroscience, rather than a statement of principles generalizable to all cognitive science.
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Archival date: 2015-11-21
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2014-09-25

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