In M. Schouten & H. Looren de Jong (eds.), The Matter of the Mind: Philosophical Essays on Psychology, Neuroscience and Reduction,. Blackwell (2007)

Authors
Tom Polger
University of Cincinnati
Abstract
By now it is cliché to observe that so-called reductionism is not one mammoth doctrine. There are, as it were, many reductionisms. Needless to say, there are at least as many antireductionisms. Despite the fact that neither reductionisms nor their counterparts are single and unified doctrines there do seem to be some family resemblances. One, it seems to me, is that both reductionisms and antireductionisms are acute responses to certain metaphysical worries. Some of these worries are metaphysical in nature, and others are worries about the nature of metaphysics. My contention is that these worries are by and large misguided, and thus that the anxious reactions of both reductionists and antireductionists are unwarranted. For the present purposes I will distinguish between reductionist and antireductionist theses, on the one hand, and reductionist and antireductionist approaches, on the other. This is a perhaps clumsy distinction, and I don’t know that it carves reductionism at its joints. But I think it can be made to do some work. By theses I have in mind particular views about the nature of reduction and reductive relations, which can be worked out in various ways some of which will be discussed below. By approaches I have in mind the motivations and background assumptions that go into formulating or adopting particular theses. Individual reductionists and antireductionists usually hold what we might then call a theory, a combination of an approach and a thesis. A great deal has been written about the merits of or truth of any number of 1 reductionist or antireductionist theses. Presumably there are some assumptions about approaches and motivations lurking in the background. But very little has been said about the merits of the various approaches themselves. Put another way: There is a lively debate over whether particular reductionist theses can solve certain problems or avoid certain objections. But not enough attention has been given to whether these are problems worth solving or objections worth overcoming.
Keywords reductionism  metaphysics  functionalism
Categories (categorize this paper)
Buy the book Find it on Amazon.com
Options
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 71,290
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Empirical Evidence and the Multiple Realization of Mental Kinds.Danny Booth - 2018 - Dissertation, University of Western Ontario

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Analytics

Added to PP index
2010-12-22

Total views
47 ( #242,842 of 2,518,734 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
1 ( #408,070 of 2,518,734 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads

My notes