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The Concept Of Reduction

Author: Raphael van Riel
Publisher: Springer Science & Business Media
ISBN: 3319041622
Size: 16.61 MB
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This volume investigates the notion of reduction. Building on the idea that philosophers employ the term ‘reduction’ to reconcile diversity and directionality with unity, without relying on elimination, the book offers a powerful explication of an “ontological”, notion of reduction the extension of which is (primarily) formed by properties, kinds, individuals, or processes. It argues that related notions of reduction, such as theory-reduction and functional reduction, should be defined in terms of this explication. Thereby, the book offers a coherent framework, which sheds light on the history of the various reduction debates in the philosophy of science and in the philosophy of mind, and on related topics such as reduction and unification, the notion of a scientific level, and physicalism. The book takes its point of departure in the examination of a puzzle about reduction. To illustrate, the book takes as an example the reduction of water. If water reduces to H2O, then water is identical to H2O – thus we get unity. Unity does not come at the price of elimination – claiming that water reduces to H2O, we do not thereby claim that there is no water. But what about diversity and directionality? Intuitively, there should be a difference between water and H2O, such that we get diversity. This is required for there to be directionality: in a sense, if water reduces to H2O, then H2O is prior to, or more basic than water. At least, if water reduces to H2O, then H2O does not reduce to water. But how can this be, if water is identical to H2O? The book shows that the application of current models of reduction does not solve this puzzle, and proposes a new coherent definition, according to which unity is tied to identity, diversity is descriptive in nature, and directionality is the directionality of explanation.

Beyond Reduction

Author: Steven Horst
Publisher: Oxford University Press on Demand
ISBN: 0195317114
Size: 67.23 MB
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Contemporary debates in philosophy of mind have been based upon the perception that mental phenomena like consciousness and intentionality are uniquely irreducible. However, philosophers of science reject this sort of reductionism. This book argues for a rethinking of the problem and urges a new perspective.

The Biological Mind

Author: Justin Garson
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 131767670X
Size: 13.75 MB
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For some, biology explains all there is to know about the mind. Yet many big questions remain: is the mind shaped by genes or the environment? If mental traits are the result of adaptations built up over thousands of years, as evolutionary psychologists claim, how can such claims be tested? If the mind is a machine, as biologists argue, how does it allow for something as complex as human consciousness? The Biological Mind: A Philosophical Introduction explores these questions and more, using the philosophy of biology to introduce and assess the nature of the mind. Drawing on the four key themes of evolutionary biology; molecular biology and genetics; neuroscience; and biomedicine and psychiatry Justin Garson addresses the following key topics: moral psychology, altruism and levels of selection evolutionary psychology and modularity genes, environment and the nature-nurture debate neuroscience, reductionism and the relation between biology and free will function, selection and mental representation psychiatric classification and the maladapted mind. Extensive use of examples and case studies is made throughout the book, and additional features such as chapter summaries, annotated further reading and a glossary make this an indispensable introduction to those teaching philosophy of mind and philosophy of psychology. It will also be an excellent resource for those in related fields such as biology.

The Language Of Thought In Late Medieval Philosophy

Author: Jenny Pelletier
Publisher: Springer
ISBN: 3319666347
Size: 48.48 MB
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This edited volume presents new lines of research dealing with the language of thought and its philosophical implications in the time of Ockham. It features more than 20 essays that also serve as a tribute to the ground-breaking work of a leading expert in late medieval philosophy: Claude Panaccio. Coverage addresses topics in the philosophy of mind and cognition (externalism, mental causation, resemblance, habits, sensory awareness, the psychology, illusion, representationalism), concepts (universal, transcendental, identity, syncategorematic), logic and language (definitions, syllogisms, modality, supposition, obligationes, etc.), action theory (belief, will, action), and more. A distinctive feature of this work is that it brings together contributions in both French and English, the two major research languages today on the main theme in question. It unites the most renowned specialists in the field as well as many of Claude Panaccio’s former students who have engaged with his work over the years. In furthering this dialogue, the essays render key topics in fourteenth-century thought accessible to the contemporary philosophical community without being anachronistic or insensitive to the particularities of the medieval context. As a result, this book will appeal to a general population of philosophers and historians of philosophy with an interest in logic, philosophy of language, philosophy of mind, and metaphysics.

Phenomenal Concepts And Phenomenal Knowledge

Author: Torin Alter
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0190291362
Size: 27.50 MB
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Consciousness has long been regarded as the biggest stumbling block for the view that the mind is physical. This volume collects thirteen new papers on this problem by leading philosophers including Torin Alter, Ned Block, David Chalmers, Daniel Dennett, John Hawthorne, Frank Jackson, Janet Levin, Joseph Levine, Martine Nida-R?melin, Laurence Nemirow, Knut Nordby, David Papineau, and Stephen White.

Philosophy Of Mind

Author: William Bechtel
Publisher: Psychology Press
ISBN: 1317785428
Size: 55.42 MB
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Specifically designed to make the philosophy of mind intelligible to those not trained in philosophy, this book provides a concise overview for students and researchers in the cognitive sciences. Emphasizing the relevance of philosophical work to investigations in other cognitive sciences, this unique text examines such issues as the meaning of language, the mind-body problem, the functionalist theories of cognition, and intentionality. As he explores the philosophical issues, Bechtel draws connections between philosophical views and theoretical and experimental work in such disciplines as cognitive psychology, artificial intelligence, linguistics, neuroscience, and anthropology.

Conceptual Change

Author: G.A. Pearce
Publisher: Springer Science & Business Media
ISBN: 9401025487
Size: 35.43 MB
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During Hallowe'en of 1970, the Department of Philosophy of the Univer sity of Western Ontario held its annual fall colloquium at London, On tario. The general topic of the sessions that year was conceptual change. The thirteen papers composing this volume stem more or less directly from those meetings; six of them are printed here virtually as delivered, while the remaining seven were subsequently written by invitation. The programme of the colloquium was to have consisted of major papers delivered by Professors Wilfrid Sellars, Stephan Korner, Paul Ziff and Hilary Putnam, with shorter commentary thereupon by Professors Robert Binkley, Joseph Ullian, Jerry Fodor and Robert Barrett, respec tively. And that is the way it happened, with one important exception: at the eleventh hour, Sellars and Binkley exchanged roles. This gave Binkley the rather unusual and challenging task of providing a suitable Sellarsian answer to a question not of his own asking - for Binkley's paper was written under Sellars' original title. Sellars' own contribution to the vo lume is perhaps more nearly what he would have presented as main speaker than a direct response to Binkley. However, it has seemed best, on balance, to attempt no further stylistic accommodation of the one paper to the other; their mutual philosophical relevance will be evident in any case. The editors would here like to extend special thanks to both Sellars and Binkley for their extraordinary efforts under the circumstances.

New Essays On The Normativity Of Law

Author: Stefano Bertea
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing
ISBN: 1847318231
Size: 54.59 MB
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An important part of the legal domain has to do with rule-governed conduct, and is expressed by the use of notions such as norm, obligation, duty and right. These require us to acknowledge the normative dimension of law. Normativity is, accordingly, to be regarded as a central feature of law lying at the heart of any comprehensive legal-theoretical project. The essays collected in this book are meant to further our understanding of the normativity of law. More specifically, the book stages a thorough discussion of legal normativity as approached from three strands of legal thought that are particularly influential and which play a key role in shaping debates on the normative dimension of law: the theory of planning agency, legal conventionalism and the constitutivist approach. While the essays presented here do not aspire to give an exhaustive picture of these debates - an aspiration that would be, by its very nature, unrealistic - they do provide the reader with some authoritative statements of some widely discussed families of views of legal normativity. In pursuing this objective, these essays also encourage a dialogue between different traditions of study of legal normativity, stimulating those who would not otherwise look outside their tradition of thought to engage with new ideas and, ultimately, to arrive at a more comprehensive account of the normativity of law.