Synthese 172 (3):437-450 (2010)
AbstractNeurophysiological research suggests our mental life is related to the cellular processes of particular nerves. In the spirit of Occam’s razor, some authors take these connections as reductions of psychological terms and kinds to molecular- biological mechanisms and patterns. Bickle’s ‘intervene cellularly/molecularly and track behaviourally’ reduction is one example of this. Here the mental is being reduced to the physical in two steps. The first is, through genetically altered mammals, to causally alter activity of particular nerve cells, i.e. neurons, at the molecular level and then, under controlled experimental conditions, to use generally-accepted rules of behaviour within psychology to monitor the results of these manipulations. In this article, we argue that Bickle’s case example for molecular reduction, i.e. the reduction of long-term memory to its cellular-molecular mechanisms, cannot support his claims, because it turns out that his chosen molecular pathway is neither a sufficient nor a necessary condition for the memory consolidation switch, and thus, instead of rejecting the multiple realization argument, Bickle’s argument actually speaks in favour of it. Therefore the idea of reductive connections between our mental life and the activity of particular nerves is, at present, still more fiction than reality.
Added to PP
Historical graph of downloads
References found in this work
Philosophy and Neuroscience a Ruthlessly Reductive Account.J. Bickle - 2003 - Kluwer Academic Publishers.
精神状态的性质.Hilary Putnam - 1967 - In W. H. Capitan & D. D. Merrill (eds.), 艺术、思想和宗教. Pittsburgh University Press. pp. 1--223.
Special Sciences, or Disunity of Science as a Working Hypothesis.Jerry Fodor - 1974 - Synthese 28 (2):97--115.
Reducing Mind to Molecular Pathways: Explicating the Reductionism Implicit in Current Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience. [REVIEW]John Bickle - 2006 - Synthese 151 (3):411-434.
Citations of this work
No citations found.
Similar books and articles
On the Reduction of Genetics to Molecular Biology.Steven Orla Kimbrough - 1979 - Philosophy of Science 46 (3):389-406.
The Scope of Fiction: Comments on Tim Button's 'Where Fiction Ends and Reality Begins' 'Where Fiction Ends and Reality Begins'.Ioannis Votsis - unknown
Reduction in Genetics—Biology or Philosophy?David L. Hull - 1972 - Philosophy of Science 39 (4):491-499.
Structure and Comparison of Genetic Theories: (2) the Reduction of Character-Factor Genetics to Molecular Genetics.W. Balzer & C. M. Dawe - 1986 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 37 (2):177-191.
Against Reduction: A Critical Notice of Molecular Models: Philosophical Papers on Molecular Biology by Sahotra Sarkar.James Maclaurin - 2011 - Biology and Philosophy 26 (1):151-158.
Much Ado About Nonexistence: Fiction and Reference.Hatem Rushdy (ed.) - 2007 - Rowman & Littlefield Publishers.
Patching Physics and Chemistry Together.Robert C. Bishop - 2005 - Philosophy of Science 72 (5):710-722.
Reducing the Dauer Larva: Molecular Models of Biological Phenomena in Caenorhabditis Elegans Research.Arciszewski Michal - manuscript
Much Ado About Nonexistence: Fiction and Reference.Avrum Stroll (ed.) - 2007 - Rowman & Littlefield Publishers.
Models of Reduction and Categories of Reductionism.Sahotra Sarkar - 1992 - Synthese 91 (3):167-94.
Interactions Among Theory, Experiment, and Technology in Molecular Biology.Kenneth F. Schaffner - 1994 - PSA: Proceedings of the Biennial Meeting of the Philosophy of Science Association 1994:192 - 205.
Reduction and Instrumentalism in Genetics.Philip Gasper - 1992 - Philosophy of Science 59 (4):655-670.
The Formal Structure of Genetics and the Reduction Problem.A. Lindenmayer & N. Simon - 1980 - PSA: Proceedings of the Biennial Meeting of the Philosophy of Science Association 1980:160 - 170.