On the Thinking Brains and Tinkering with the Scientific Models


AXIOMATHES, vol.28, no.1, pp.37-51, 2018 (Journal Indexed in AHCI) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 28 Issue: 1
  • Publication Date: 2018
  • Doi Number: 10.1007/s10516-017-9334-6
  • Title of Journal : AXIOMATHES
  • Page Numbers: pp.37-51
  • Keywords: Scientific model, Intentionality, Propositional attitude, Psychological realism, Structural Realism, STRUCTURAL REALISM, FICTIONS


The paper aims to provide a detailed assessment of Tim Crane's recent invocation of the notion of scientific models in the way of dealing with the issue of the brain's representational states. In this paper, I assess Crane's proposal under a charitable and a less charitable reading. I argue that Crane's use of scientific models is at best (i.e. under a charitable reading) compatible with his expression of psychological realism. However, Crane's use of model-based strategy by no means underlay, support, or strengthen his psychological realism. Rather, traditional reasons from the metaphysics of mind, acting quite separately from empirical scientific reasons, must be used to support this realism, and Crane has merely removed the threat posed to these metaphysical arguments by the existence of the so-called mereological fallacy in empirical neuroscience. Therefore, while he has saved the neuroscientific language from philosophical attack, he has perhaps even strengthened the divide between neuroscience and philosophy. I conclude the paper by outlining the sketch of a broadbrush scientifically informed strategy for defending psychological realism.