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Methodology and Reductionism in the Philosophy of Mind
AdvisorNickles, Thomas J.
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In contemporary philosophy of mind, the mind-body problem is often framed in terms ofthe reduction of psychology to neuroscience. In this thesis I argue that whether or notone regards such a reduction as tenable depends upon a methodological decision aboutthe importance of our naïve intuitions concerning the mind and the material world. Iclaim that standard anti-reductive argumentative strategies rest upon systematicallydeceptive and underdeveloped intuitions. As a result, we should reject these intuitionsand forms of argumentation and adopt instead a pragmatic philosophy of mind that allowsfor the principled reduction of psychology, but at the time time maintains a pluralisticmethodology.