Date of Award

12-14-2016

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Department

Philosophy

First Advisor

Andrea Scarantino

Second Advisor

Daniel Weiskopf

Third Advisor

Neil Van Leeuwen

Abstract

Recently, Gualtiero Piccinini and Carl Craver (2011) have argued that functional analyses in psychology lack explanatory autonomy from explanations in neuroscience. In this thesis I argue against this claim by motivating and defending a pragmatic-epistemic conception of autonomous psychological explanation. I argue that this conception of autonomy need not require that functional analyses be distinct in kind from neural-mechanistic explanations. I use the framework of Bas van Fraassen’s Pragmatic Theory of Explanation (van Fraassen 1980) to show that explanations in psychology and neuroscience can be seen as seeking understanding of autonomous levels of mechanistic phenomena.

Share

COinS