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Construct Stabilization and the Unity of the Mind-Brain Sciences

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  01 January 2022


This article offers a critique of an account of explanatory integration that claims that explanations of cognitive capacities by functional analyses and mechanistic explanations can be seamlessly integrated. It is shown that achieving such explanatory integration requires that the terms designating cognitive capacities in the two forms of explanation are stable but that experimental practice in the mind-brain sciences currently is not directed at achieving such stability. A positive proposal for changing experimental practice so as to promote such stability is put forward, and its implications for explanatory integration are briefly considered.

Unifying the Mind-Brain Sciences
Copyright © The Philosophy of Science Association

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The author would like to thank Muhammad Ali Khalidi, an anonymous referee, and members of the Rotman Institute of Philosophy’s 2015 Summer Writing Workshop, including Frédéric-Ismaël Banville, Danny Booth, Robert Foley, John Jenkinson, Andrew Peterson, Nicholas Slothouber, and Jessey Wright, for very helpful comments on an earlier draft of this paper.


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