In Marco Viola & Fabrizio Calzavarini (eds.), Neural Mechanisms: New Challenges in the Philosophy of Neuroscience. Springer (2020)

Alfredo Vernazzani
Ruhr-Universität Bochum
At the beginning of the 20th century, Gestalt psychologists put forward the concept of psychoneural isomorphism, which was meant to replace Fechner’s obscure notion of psychophysical parallelism and provide a heuristics that may facilitate the search for the neural correlates of the mind. However, the concept has generated much confusion in the debate, and today its role is still unclear. In this contribution, I will attempt a little conceptual spadework in clarifying the concept of psychoneural isomorphism, focusing exclusively on conscious visual perceptual experience and its neural correlates. Firstly, I will outline the history of our concept, and its alleged metaphysical and epistemic roles. Then, I will clarify the nature of isomorphism and rule out its metaphysical role. Finally, I will review some epistemic roles of our concept, zooming in on the work of Jean Petitot, and suggest that it does not play a relevant heuristic role. I conclude suggesting that psychoneural isomorphism might be an indicator of robustness for certain mathematical descriptions of perceptual content.
Keywords Psychoneural Isomorphism  Philosophy of neuroscience  Philosophy of perception  Mathematical models  Content-NCCs  Naturalized Phenomenology  Gestalt psychology  Scientific Models  History of psychology  Mind-Body Problem
Categories (categorize this paper)
Reprint years 2020
Buy the book Find it on
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy

 PhilArchive page | Other versions
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

View all 91 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

A Logical Analysis of 'Psychological Isomorphism'.Edward H. Madden - 1957 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 8 (November):177-191.
Isomorphism in Mind.Virgil Gale Whitmyer - 2000 - Dissertation, The University of Connecticut
Analytic Isomorphism and Speech Perception.Irene Appelbaum - 1998 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 21 (6):748-749.
On the Reducibility of Isomorphism Relations.Tapani Hyttinen & Miguel Moreno - 2017 - Mathematical Logic Quarterly 63 (3-4):175-192.
Gestalt Psychology and the Philosophy of Mind.William Epstein & Gary Hatfield - 1994 - Philosophical Psychology 7 (2):163-181.
On Complementarity and Causal Isomorphism.Douglas M. Snyder - 1988 - Journal of Mind and Behavior 9 (1):1-4.
The Mind-Body Problem in the Light of Neuroscience.Mario Bunge & Rodolfo Llinás - 1983 - der 16. Weltkongress Für Philosophie 2:274-279.


Added to PP index

Total views
156 ( #75,122 of 2,507,500 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
35 ( #25,604 of 2,507,500 )

How can I increase my downloads?


My notes