Memory consolidation, multiple realizations, and modest reductions
Philosophy of Science
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This article investigates several consequences of a recent trend in philosophy of mind to shift the relata of realization from mental state-physical state to function-mechanism. It is shown, by applying both frameworks to the neuroscientific case study of memory consolidation, that, although this shift can be used to avoid the immediate antireductionist consequences of the traditional argument from multiple realizability, what is gained is a far more modest form of reductionism than recent philosophical accounts have intimated and neuroscientists themselves have claimed. Copyright 2008 by the Philosophy of Science Association. All rights reserved.