Philosophy of Science 46 (4):533-58 (1979)
AbstractIt is here argued that functionalist constraints on psychology do not preclude the applicability of classic forms of reduction and, therefore, do not support claims to a principled, or de jure, autonomy of psychology. In Part I, after isolating one minimal restriction any functionalist theory must impose on its categories, it is shown that any functionalism imposing an additional constraint of de facto autonomy must also be committed to a pure functionalist--that is, a computationalist--model for psychology. Using an extended parallel to the reduction of Mendelian to molecular genetics, it is shown in Parts II and III that, contrary to the claims of Hilary Putnam and Jerry Fodor, there is no inconsistency between computational models and classical reductionism: neither plurality of physical realization nor plurality of function are inconsistent with reductionism as defended by Ernest Nagel. Employing the results of Part I, the conclusions of Parts II and III are generalized in Part IV to cover any version of functionalism whatsoever; thus, functionalism and reductionism are shown to be consistent. It is urged in conclusion that although a de facto form of autonomy is defensible, there are sound methodological grounds for unconditionally rejecting any principled version of the autonomy of psychology
Similar books and articles
What to say to a skeptical metaphysician: A defense manual for cognitive and behavioral scientists.Don Ross & David Spurrett - 2004 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 27 (5):603-627.
Models of reduction and categories of reductionism.Sahotra Sarkar - 1992 - Synthese 91 (3):167-94.
Functionalism and Psychological Reductionism: Friends, Not Foes.Andrew Melnyk - 2006 - In Maurice Schouten & Huib Looren de Jong (eds.), The Matter of the Mind: Philosophical Essays on Psychology, Neuroscience and Reduction. Blackwell. pp. 31-50.
Science without reduction.Helmut F. Spinner - 1973 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 16 (1-4):16 – 94.
A mechanist manifesto for the philosophy of mind: A third way for functionalists.Carl Gillett - 2007 - Journal of Philosophical Research 32:21-42.
Readings in Philosophy of Psychology: 1.Ned Joel Block (ed.) - 1980 - Cambridge: Harvard University Press.
Functionalism and logical analysis.Paul Livingston - 2005 - In David Woodruff Smith & Amie L. Thomasson (eds.), Phenomenology and Philosophy of Mind. Oxford: Clarendon Press. pp. 19.
Understanding the new reductionism: The metaphysics of realization and reduction by functionalism.Carl Gillett - forthcoming - In De Joong & Schouten (eds.), Rethinking Reduction. Blackwell.
Added to PP
Historical graph of downloads
Citations of this work
Multiple Realizability Revisited: Linking Cognitive and Neural States.William Bechtel - 1999 - Philosophy of Science 66 (2):175-207.
Reduction, explanation, and individualism.Harold Kincaid - 1986 - Philosophy of Science 53 (4):492-513.
Scientific Reduction.Raphael van Riel & Robert Van Gulick - 2014 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
References found in this work
Special sciences (or: The disunity of science as a working hypothesis).J. A. Fodor - 1974 - Synthese 28 (2):97-115.
Unity of Science as a Working Hypothesis.Paul Oppenheim & Hilary Putnam - 1958 - Minnesota Studies in the Philosophy of Science 2:3-36.
What psychological states are not.Ned Block & Jerry A. Fodor - 1972 - Philosophical Review 81 (April):159-81.