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Functional Analysis and the Autonomy of Psychology

Feest, Uljana (2002) Functional Analysis and the Autonomy of Psychology. [Preprint]

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This paper examines the notion that psychology is autonomous. It is argued that we need to distinguish between (a) the question of whether psychological explanations are autonomous, and (b) the question of whether the process of psychological discovery is autonomous. The issue is approached by providing a re-interpretation of Robert Cummins' notion of functional analysis (FA). A distinction is drawn between FA as an explanatory strategy and FA as an investigative strategy. It is argued that the identification of functional components of the cognitive system may draw on knowledge about brain structure, without thereby jeopardizing the explanatory autonomy of psychology.

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Item Type: Preprint
Feest, Uljana
Keywords: Psychology/Psychiatry, Function/Teleology, Cognitive Science, Specific Sciences, autonomy, functional analysis, reductionism, multiple realization, functionalism, Cummins
Depositing User: Program Committee
Date Deposited: 23 Mar 2003
Last Modified: 13 Sep 2015 15:44
Item ID: 1065

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