Reduction in the Philosophy of Mind

Edited by Raphael van Riel and Albert Newen
2011. 224 Seiten. kt € 144,00
ISBN 978-3-465-04126-9
Philosophia naturalis Band 47/48

Under a certain interpretation the whole modern philosophy of mind can be conceived as being concerned with issues of reductionism or anti-reductionism – either by trying to free the community from its Cartesian heritage or by trying to reinstall it in modern terms; debates on type- and token-theories, on functionalism, on supervenience, on mechanistic explanations of the mind, on consciousness and on phenomenality bear directly upon or are explicitly concerned with issues of reductionism and anti-reductionism, and it seems that these are not the only ones. Consequently, the questions of (i) what reduction consists in and (ii) whether or not reductionism is true figured among the most prominent in the philosophy of mind, but also in related areas like metaphysics and philosophy of science, in the early second half of the last century. Due to relatively recent developments in the neurosciences, which were enthusiastically described as pushing us towards a natural science of the mind, they have undergone some sort of revival in the past decades. Moreover, recent interpretations of models of reduction seem to suggest that the alleged problems for reductionism, as, for example, posed by arguments which are based on the assumption of the multiple realizability of mental kinds, do not affect the reductionist’s claims at all – identification of mental kinds with disjunctive kinds or with contextualized kinds which are seemingly not (relevantly) multiply realizable form two attempts to reconcile the fact of multiple realizability with reductionism.

This volume has its roots in an international workshop entitled "Reductionism, Explanation and Metaphors in the Philosophy of Mind", which was held as a satellite event of the GAP conference in Bremen in September 2009.


Part 1: Models of Reduction

Michael Esfeld: Causal Properties and Conservative Reduction

Christian Sachse: Conservative Reduction of Biology

Douglas Kutach: Reductive Identities. An Empirical Fundamentalist Approach

Robert Van Gulick: Non-reductive Physicalism and the Teleo-Pragmatic Theory of Mind


Part 2: Reduction, Phenomenality, and the Explanatory

Link Markus Eronen: Replacing Functional Reduction with Mechanistic Explanation

Albert Newen: Phenomenal Concepts and Mental Files. Phenomenal Concepts are Theory-Based

Raphael van Riel: Identity-Based Reduction and Reductive Explanation


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