The autonomy of psychology in the age of neuroscience

Ken Aizawa and Carl Gillett

in Causality in the Sciences

Published in print March 2011 | ISBN: 9780199574131
Published online September 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191728921 | DOI:
The autonomy of psychology in the age of neuroscience

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The implications of multiple realization for scientific methodology have recently been hotly debated. For example, neuroscientists have discovered distinct realizations for what appears to be a single psychological property and some philosophers have recently maintained that in such cases scientists will always abandon commitment to the single, multiply realized psychological property in favour of two, or more, uniquely realized psychological properties. This chapter explores such methodological claims by building on the dimensioned theory of realization and a companion theory of multiple realization. Using concrete cases, this chapter shows that such an ‘eliminate-and-split’ methodology is not always the case in actual practice. Furthermore, this chapter also establishes that whether scientists postulate unique or multiple realizations is not determined by the neuroscience alone, but only in concert with the psychological theory under examination. Thus, in a sense this chapter articulates, in the splitting or non-splitting of properties, psychology enjoys a kind of autonomy from neuroscience.

Keywords: realization; multiple realization; methodology; dimensioned view of realization; human color vision

Chapter.  9754 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Logic

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