A reductive physicalist account of the autonomy of psychology

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Shenker, Orly R.
conference paper description
The appearance of multiple realization of the special sciences kinds by physical kinds can be fully explained within a type-identity reductive physicalist framework, based on recent findings in the foundations of statistical mechanics (see Hemmo and Shenker 2012, 2016). This has been shown in Hemmo and Shenker (paper presented at PSA 2016). However, while this account is available for special sciences like biology and thermodynamics, it is unavailable for psychology. Therefore the only coherent physicalist account of psychology is a type-type identity account. The so-called “non reductive” physicalism turns out to be an incoherent idea, and functionalism and supervenience cannot salvage it. At the same time, within a type-identity account properly understood one can give a full account of the anomaly of psychology and understand in what sense the special sciences - including psychology - are autonomous.