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Fodor on multiple realizability and nonreductive physicalism: Why the argument does not work

Bermúdez, José Luis and Cahen, Arnon (2020) Fodor on multiple realizability and nonreductive physicalism: Why the argument does not work. THEORIA. An International Journal for Theory, History and Foundations of Science, 35 (1). pp. 59-74. ISSN 2171-679X

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Abstract

This paper assesses Fodor’s well-known argument from multiple realizability to nonreductive physicalism. Recent work has brought out that the empirical case for cross-species multiple realizability is weak at best and so we consider whether the argument can be rebooted using a “thin” notion of intraspecies multiple realizability, taking individual neural firing patterns to be the realizers of mental events. We agree that there are no prospects for reducing mental events to individual neural firing patterns. But there are more plausible candidates for the neural realizers of mental events out there, namely, global neural pro- perties such as the average firing rates of neural populations, or the local field potential. The problem for Fodor’s argument is that those global neural properties point towards reductive versions of physicalism.


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Item Type: Published Article or Volume
Creators:
CreatorsEmailORCID
Bermúdez, José Luisjbermudez@tamu.edu
Cahen, Arnoncahena@gmail.com
Additional Information: ISSN: 0495-4548 (print)
Keywords: Fodor, Multiple realizability, Reduction, Physicalism
Subjects: Specific Sciences > Cognitive Science
General Issues > Philosophers of Science
General Issues > Reductionism/Holism
Depositing User: Unnamed user with email theoria@ehu.es
Date Deposited: 05 Mar 2020 01:27
Last Modified: 05 Mar 2020 01:27
Item ID: 16970
Journal or Publication Title: THEORIA. An International Journal for Theory, History and Foundations of Science
Publisher: Euskal Herriko Unibertsitatea / Universidad del País Vasco
Official URL: https://www.ehu.eus/ojs/index.php/THEORIA/article/...
DOI or Unique Handle: 10.1387/theoria.20772
Subjects: Specific Sciences > Cognitive Science
General Issues > Philosophers of Science
General Issues > Reductionism/Holism
Date: January 2020
Page Range: pp. 59-74
Volume: 35
Number: 1
ISSN: 2171-679X
URI: http://philsci-archive.pitt.edu/id/eprint/16970

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