Summary - Saving Faculty Psychology: Debunking the Argument from Multiple Realization

The Adaptable Mind: What Neuroplasticity and Neural Reuse Tell Us about Language and Cognition - John Zerilli 2021

Summary
Saving Faculty Psychology: Debunking the Argument from Multiple Realization

Multiple realization should not be taken as an empirical given—establishing that a kind is multiply realizable takes a good deal of work, as Shapiro has been at pains to show; and even when the existence of an MR kind can be verified, the details of its implementation do not suddenly become irrelevant. Structure and function are two sides of the same coin. Thus the multiple realization argument provides no basis for neglecting the discoveries of neuroscience. Faculty psychology’s strength lies precisely in its willingness to work with neuroscience.

1 Actually, this argument requires care. It only goes through if it can be shown that there is a distinct function served by the two psychological states. I address the matter at some length in Zerilli (2019).

2 It only appears to be tendentious when a certain paradigm of realization and MR, the so-called dimensioned view, has one under its sway (see Gillett 2003).

3 Shapiro and Polger (2012, p. 282) elaborate upon Shapiro’s (2000) pragmatic considerations and attempt to situate his criteria within a somewhat more formal rubric. See also Shapiro (2008, pp. 522—525), Polger (2008), Polger (2009, pp. 463—464), and Polger and Shapiro (2016).