The churchlands' neuron doctrine: Both cognitive and reductionist

J. Sutton*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalShort surveypeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


According to Cold and Stoljar, one cannot consistently be both reductionist about psychoneural relations and invoke concepts developed in the psychological sciences. I deny the utility of their distinction between biological and cognitive neuroscience, suggesting that they construe biological neuroscience too rigidly and cognitive neuroscience too liberally. Then, I reject their characterization of reductionism. Reductions need not go down past neurobiology straight to physics, and cases of partial, local reduction are not neatly distinguishable from cases of mere implementation. Modifying the argument from unification as reduction, I defend a position weaker than the radical but stronger than the trivial neuron doctrine.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)850-851
Number of pages2
JournalBehavioral and Brain Sciences
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1999


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