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Philipp Haueis
Bielefeld University
  1. Discovering Patterns: On the Norms of Mechanistic Inquiry.Lena Kästner & Philipp Haueis - forthcoming - Erkenntnis 3:1-26.
    What kinds of norms constrain mechanistic discovery and explanation? In the mechanistic literature, the norms for good explanations are directly derived from answers to the metaphysical question of what explanations are. Prominent mechanistic accounts thus emphasize either ontic or epistemic norms. Still, mechanistic philosophers on both sides agree that there is no sharp distinction between the processes of discovery and explanation. Thus, it seems reasonable to expect that ontic and epistemic accounts of explanation will be accompanied by ontic and epistemic (...)
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  2.  93
    Beyond Cognitive Myopia: A Patchwork Approach to the Concept of Neural Function.Philipp Haueis - 2018 - Synthese 195 (12):5373-5402.
    In this paper, I argue that looking at the concept of neural function through the lens of cognition alone risks cognitive myopia: it leads neuroscientists to focus only on mechanisms with cognitive functions that process behaviorally relevant information when conceptualizing “neural function”. Cognitive myopia tempts researchers to neglect neural mechanisms with noncognitive functions which do not process behaviorally relevant information but maintain and repair neural and other systems of the body. Cognitive myopia similarly affects philosophy of neuroscience because scholars overlook (...)
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  3.  94
    Evolving Concepts of 'Hierarchy' in Systems Neuroscience.Philipp Haueis & Daniel Burnston - 2021 - In Fabrizio Calzavarini & Marco Viola (eds.), Neural Mechanisms: New Challenges in the Philosophy of Neuroscience.
    The notion of “hierarchy” is one of the most commonly posited organizational principles in systems neuroscience. To this date, however, it has received little philosophical analysis. This is unfortunate, because the general concept of hierarchy ranges over two approaches with distinct empirical commitments, and whose conceptual relations remain unclear. We call the first approach the “representational hierarchy” view, which posits that an anatomical hierarchy of feed-forward, feed-back, and lateral connections underlies a signal processing hierarchy of input-output relations. Because the representational (...)
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  4.  34
    A Generalized Patchwork Approach to Scientific Concepts.Philipp Haueis - forthcoming - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science.
    Polysemous concepts with multiple related meanings pervade natural languages, yet some philosophers argue that we should eliminate them to avoid miscommunication and pointless debates in scientific discourse. This paper defends the legitimacy of polysemous concepts in science against this eliminativist challenge. My approach analyses such concepts as patchworks with multiple scale-dependent, technique-involving, domain-specific and property-targeting uses (patches). I demonstrate the generality of my approach by applying it to "hardness" in materials science, "homology" in evolutionary biology, "gold" in chemistry and "cortical (...)
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  5. Meeting the Brain on its Own Terms.Philipp Haueis - 2014 - Frontiers in Human Neuroscience 815 (8).
    In contemporary human brain mapping, it is commonly assumed that the “mind is what the brain does”. Based on that assumption, task-based imaging studies of the last three decades measured differences in brain activity that are thought to reflect the exercise of human mental capacities (e.g., perception, attention, memory). With the advancement of resting state studies, tractography and graph theory in the last decade, however, it became possible to study human brain connectivity without relying on cognitive tasks or constructs. It (...)
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  6. Connectomes as Constitutively Epistemic Objects: Critical Perspectives on Modeling in Current Neuroanatomy.Philipp Haueis & Jan Slaby - 2017 - In Progress in Brain Research Vol 233: The Making and Use of Animal Models in Neuroscience and Psychiatry. Amsterdam: pp. 149–177.
    in a nervous system of a given species. This chapter provides a critical perspective on the role of connectomes in neuroscientific practice and asks how the connectomic approach fits into a larger context in which network thinking permeates technology, infrastructure, social life, and the economy. In the first part of this chapter, we argue that, seen from the perspective of ongoing research, the notion of connectomes as “complete descriptions” is misguided. Our argument combines Rachel Ankeny’s analysis of neuroanatomical wiring diagrams (...)
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  7.  18
    The Death of the Cortical Column? Patchwork Structure and Conceptual Retirement in Neuroscientific Practice.Philipp Haueis - 2021 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 85:101-113.
    In 1981, David Hubel and Torsten Wiesel received the Nobel Prize for their research on cortical columns—vertical bands of neurons with similar functional properties. This success led to the view that “cortical column” refers to the basic building block of the mammalian neocortex. Since the 1990s, however, critics questioned this building block picture of “cortical column” and debated whether this concept is useless and should be replaced with successor concepts. This paper inquires which experimental results after 1981 challenged the building (...)
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  8.  17
    The Humanities as Conceptual Practices: The Formation and Development of High‐Impact Concepts in Philosophy and Beyond.Philipp Haueis & Jan Slaby - forthcoming - Metaphilosophy.
    This paper proposes an analysis of the discursive dynamics of high-impact concepts in the humanities. These are concepts whose formation and development have a lasting and wide-ranging effect on research and our understanding of discursive reality in general. The notion of a conceptual practice, based on a normative conception of practice, is introduced, and practices are identified, on this perspective, according to the way their respective performances are held mutually accountable. This normative conception of practices is then combined with recent (...)
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  9.  74
    The Fuzzy Brain. Vagueness and Mapping Connectivity in the Human Cerebral Cortex.Philipp Haueis - 2012 - Frontiers in Neuroanatomy 37 (6).
    While the past century of neuroscientific research has brought considerable progress in defining the boundaries of the human cerebral cortex, there are cases in which the demarcation of one area from another remains fuzzy. Despite the existence of clearly demarcated areas, examples of gradual transitions between areas are known since early cytoarchitectonic studies. Since multi-modal anatomical approaches and functional connectivity studies brought renewed attention to the topic, a better understanding of the theoretical and methodological implications of fuzzy boundaries in brain (...)
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  10.  5
    Mechanistic Inquiry and Scientific Pursuit: The Case of Visual Processing.Philipp Haueis & Lena Kästner - 2022 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 93:123-135.
    Why is it rational for scientists to pursue multiple models of a phenomenon at the same time? The literatures on mechanistic inquiry and scientific pursuit each develop answers to a version of this question which is rarely discussed by the other. The mechanistic literature suggests that scientists pursue different complementary models because each model provides detailed insights into different aspects of the phenomenon under investigation. The pursuit literature suggests that scientists pursue competing models because alternative models promise to solve outstanding (...)
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  11. Brain in the Shell. Assessing the Stakes and the Transformative Potential of the Human Brain Project.Philipp Haueis & Jan Slaby - 2015 - In Neuroscience and Critique. London: pp. 117–140.
    The “Human Brain Project” (HBP) is a large-scale European neuroscience and information communication technology (ICT) project that has been a matter of heated controversy since its inception. With its aim to simulate the entire human brain with the help of supercomputing technologies, the HBP plans to fundamentally change neuroscientific research practice, medical diagnosis, and eventually the use of computers itself. Its controversial nature and its potential impacts render the HBP a subject of crucial importance for critical studies of science and (...)
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  12.  60
    Apollinian Scientia Sexualis and Dionysian Ars Erotica?: On the Relation Between Michel Foucault's History of Sexuality and Friedrich Nietzsche's Birth of Tragedy.Philipp Haueis - 2012 - Journal of Nietzsche Studies 43 (2):260-282.
    This article explores how a nonreductionist account of Nietzsche's influence on Michel Foucault can enrich our understanding of key concepts in singular works of both philosophers. I assess this exegetical strategy by looking at the two dichotomies Apollinian/Dionysian and ars erotica/scientia sexualis in The Birth of Tragedy and volume 1 of The History of Sexuality, respectively. After exploring the relation between these two dichotomies, I link the science of sexuality to the Apollinian art instinct via the existence of Socratic culture (...)
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  13.  1
    Descriptive Multiscale Modeling in Data-Driven Neuroscience.Philipp Haueis - 2022 - Synthese 200 (2):1-26.
    Multiscale modeling techniques have attracted increasing attention by philosophers of science, but the resulting discussions have almost exclusively focused on issues surrounding explanation. In this paper, I argue that besides explanation, multiscale techniques can serve important exploratory functions when scientists model systems whose organization at different scales is ill-understood. My account distinguishes explanatory and descriptive multiscale modeling based on which epistemic goal scientists aim to achieve when using multiscale techniques. In explanatory multiscale modeling, scientists use multiscale techniques to select information (...)
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  14.  12
    Vagueness and Mechanistic Explanation in Neuroscience.Philipp Haueis - 2013 - Croatian Journal of Philosophy 13 (2):251-275.
    The problem of fuzzy boundaries when delineating cortical areas is widely known in human brain mapping and its adjacent subdisciplines . Yet, a conceptual framework for understanding indeterminacy in neuroscience is missing, and there has been no discussion in the philosophy of neuroscience whether indeterminacy poses an issue for good neuroscientific explanations. My paper addresses both these issues by applying philosophical theories of vagueness to three levels of neuroscientific research, namely to cytoarchitectonic studies at the neuron level intra-areal neuronalinteraction measured (...)
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