The Multiple Realization Book (Paperback)
  • The Multiple Realization Book (Paperback)
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The Multiple Realization Book (Paperback)

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£24.49
Paperback 272 Pages / Published: 07/07/2016
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Since Hilary Putnam offered multiple realization as an empirical hypothesis in the 1960s, philosophical consensus has turned against the idea that mental processes could be identified with brain processes, and multiple realization has become the keystone of the 'antireductive consensus' across philosophy of science broadly. Thomas W. Polger and Lawrence A. Shapiro offer the first book-length investigation of multiple realization. Their analysis of multiple realization serves as a starting point to a series of philosophically sophisticated and empirically informed arguments that cast doubt on the generality of multiple realization in the cognitive sciences. In the course of making their case, they respond to classic defenses of multiple realization that Jerry Fodor, Ned Block, and other prominent philosophers of psychology have offered. Polger and Shapiro conclude that the identity theory, once left for dead, remains a viable theory of mind-one that, when suitably framed, enjoys the benefits typically thought to accrue only to theories of mind that presuppose the truth of multiple realization. As Polger and Shapiro see matters, mind-brain identities have played an important role in the growth and achievements of the cognitive sciences, and they see little prospect-or need-for multiple realization in an empirically-based theory of mind. This leads Polger and Shapiro to offer an alternative framework for understanding explanations in the cognitive sciences, as well as in chemistry, biology, and other non-basic sciences.

Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 9780198779896
Number of pages: 272
Weight: 335 g
Dimensions: 216 x 136 x 15 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS
This book is a very welcome addition to the literature, and should be essential reading for anyone accepting widespread multiple realisation by default. * Anders Strand (Universitetet i Oslo), The Journal, International Studies in the Philosophy of Science *
By offering an original recipe of multiple realization as such, Polger and Shapiro carry out an impressive task in debunking nearly all well-known (and also some less known) putative examples of multiple realization ... this is a beautiful book and I very much enjoyed reading it. Polger and Shapiro's writing is clear and engaging, and their presentation of philosophical problems and scientific cases is very illuminating. From the opening page, they make it clear that they see 'philosophy of mind as a species of philosophy of science', and the result is a very nice and empirically informed philosophy of science book. * Umut Baysan, Analysis *
Even if you would not buy the ultimate message of the book, it still contains plenty of valuable material and enlightening critical analyses of various aspects of the multiple realization thesis. This is an important book, and neither friends nor foes of multiple realization can afford to ignore it. * Tuomas K. Pernu, Metapsychology Online Reviews *
Indeed, their book represents the best of what philosophy should be - a deep questioning, with considered argument, about what was once thought to be a largely settled matter... Polger and Shapiro also pay close attention to the wide array of evidence that philosophers have cited in support of multiple realization... the book is filled with novel insights. * Ronald Endicott, Metascience *
This welcome book-length venture compiles and expands on previous arguments by the two authors, and presents a strong challenge to what they see as current multiple realization dogma - perhaps 'complacency' is more aptfound throughout the philosophy of the non-fundamental sciences. The book also contains a helpful guide to teaching and learning: every chapter is accompanied by a list of key questions and references for those using the book to navigate the terrain more broadly. Above all, though, the clear prose and accessible examples should engage a diverse readership. * Marion Godman, British Journal for the Philosophy of Science *
This book nicely brings together work that has had substantial impact on the way philosophers view the relative merits of functionalism and type-identity theory-and should be of interest to philosophers, psychologists, and neuroscientists, both beginning and advanced. And if it raises questions that generate a "third wave" of debate and inquiry, then this is progress indeed. * Janet Levin, Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews *

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