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  • From: "Laszlo E. Szabo" <leszabo AT>
  • To: mafla <mafla AT>, Multiple recipients of list <koglist AT>, fizinfo <fizinfo AT>
  • Subject: [Fizinfo] PHILOSOPHY OF SCIENCE SEMINAR, J, B i c k l e
  • Date: Fri Sep 28 19:48:01 2001
  • List-archive: <>
  • List-id: ELFT HRAD <>
  • Organization: Eotvos University

Department of History and Philosophy of Science
Eotvos University
Budapest, Pazmany P. setany 1/A

1* October 4:00 PM 6th floor 6.54
(Language: English)

J o h n B i c k l e

Department of Philosophy and Neuroscience Graduate Program
University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, OH, USA

Multiple realization, meet molecular neuroscience

In the philosophy of mind, multiple realization refers to the claim that
one and the same logical kind (property, state, event) is realized in
vastly different physical kinds that share nothing of explanatory
relevance in common. Although puzzles about the realization relation
remain, this claim has acquired consensus status as a true and important
premise in an argument against all forms of psychoneural reduction and
type identity. In this paper, I challenge the truth of multiple
realization based on some recent discoveries in cellular and molecular
neuroscience shared across a variety of species and forms of learning
and memory. From sensitization and aversive conditioning in fruit flies
and sea slugs through hippocampal-mediated memories for context in
mammals, the same "second messenger" intracellular biochemical pathway
and molecular genetic process underlies specifically the "consolidation
switch" from short-term to long-term memory. Furthermore, this single
example illustrates a general principle of evolutionary conservatism at
the cellular/molecular level that we can expect to find at work in the
mechanisms for all psychological processes.
Multiple realization, meet molecular neuroscience. The biochemical and
molecular-genetic details that carry the bulk of the argument here will
be unfamiliar to many philosophers and cognitive scientists. But they
reflect the current state of our scientific knowledge. These details
thus serve a useful secondary purpose: they inform
scientifically-inspired philosophers and cognitive scientists about
recent developments in the cellular and molecular core of current
mainstream neuroscience.

* The organizer of the seminar wants to apologize to the lecturer and
the participants for being absent from the talk of 1 October, because of
the ESF Workshop, Bertinoro, Italy.

The organizer of the seminar: László E. Szabó

Laszlo E. Szabo
Department of Theoretical Physics
Department of History and Philosophy of Science
Eotvos University, Budapest
H-1518 Budapest, Pf. 32, Hungary
Phone/Fax: (36-1)372-2924
Home: (36-1) 200-7318
Mobil/SMS: (36) 20-366-1172

  • [Fizinfo] PHILOSOPHY OF SCIENCE SEMINAR, J, B i c k l e, Laszlo E. Szabo, 09/28/2001

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