Added by: Nick Novelli
Abstract: The claim of the multiple realizability of mental states by brain states has been a major feature of the dominant philosophy of mind of the late 20th century. The claim is usually motivated by evidence that mental states are multiply realized, both within humans and between humans and other species. We challenge this contention by focusing on how neuroscientists differentiate brain areas. The fact that they rely centrally on psychological measures in mapping the brain and do so in a comparative fashion undercuts the likelihood that, at least within organic life forms, we are likely to find cases of multiply realized psychological functions.
Comment: One of the better arguments against multiple realizability. Could be used in any philosophy of mind course where that claim arises as a demonstration of how it could be challenged. A good deal of discussion about neuroscientific practices and methods, but not excessively technical.Export citation in BibTeX formatExport text citationView this text on PhilPapersExport citation in Reference Manager formatExport citation in EndNote formatExport citation in Zotero format
Bechtel, William P., Jennifer Mundale. Multiple realizability revisited: Linking cognitive and neural states
1999, Philosophy of Science 66 (2): 175-207.
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