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Not full reductions, but better explanations Comment on "Neuroontology, neurobiological naturalism, and consciousness: A challenge to scientific reduction and a solution" by Todd E. Feinberg.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  22265429     Owner:  NLM     Status:  Publisher    
Feinberg (2011) [8] suggests that science so far cannot "reduce critical features of consciousness to neural processes." But this poses an unrealistic standard. If science required full reductive explanations, neither Newton nor Darwin would be remembered today, since neither gave a reductive account of gravity or heredity. Indeed, we do not have such full reductions today. Useful theories, like Darwin's, are often not reductionistic to biological cells like neurons, though they can offer explanations of basic puzzles. Even theoretical physics cannot explain mountain avalanches and oak trees at the level of fundamental particles. Yet physics is a widely admired model of scientific theory. Judging by more modest historical standards we are making steady progress on Feinberg's four basic questions.
Bernard J Baars
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Publication Detail:
Type:  JOURNAL ARTICLE     Date:  2012-1-17
Journal Detail:
Title:  Physics of life reviews     Volume:  -     ISSN:  1873-1457     ISO Abbreviation:  -     Publication Date:  2012 Jan 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2012-1-23     Completed Date:  -     Revised Date:  -    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  101229718     Medline TA:  Phys Life Rev     Country:  -    
Other Details:
Languages:  ENG     Pagination:  -     Citation Subset:  -    
Copyright Information:
Copyright © 2011 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
The Neurosciences Institute, San Diego, CA 92121, United States.
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