The Many Faces of Neuroreductionism
- Cite this paper as:
- Werner G. (1988) The Many Faces of Neuroreductionism. In: Başar E. (eds) Dynamics of Sensory and Cognitive Processing by the Brain. Springer Series in Brain Dynamics, vol 1. Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg
The generally held belief that a person’s psychological functions such as perception or cognition are in some way related to processes and events in the nervous system is the essence of neuroreductionism. However, this seemingly straightforward proposition is subject to ambiguities in that the concept of reductionism allows for several interpretations, which in turn have also triggered antireductionist arguments. To escape from these ambiguities, it has become necessary to impose certain constraints on reductionist thinking, with corresponding implications for empirical research. However, while the practicing neuroscientist continues to go unperturbed about his business of applying his methodological repertoire to the systematic examination of processes, events, and the structural organization of the nervous system, the task of integrating his observations into a coherent conceptual context, has largely become relegated to the philosopher of science, the theoretical psychologist and, more recently, the computer scientist and system theoretician. Yet the neuroscientist, too, has a vote in these deliberations.
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