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Seminar: 9/23 - Cláudio L. N. Guimarães dos Santos

11:00 to 12:30 PM      at:  

Univ. Federal de São Paulo/UNIFESP/Brasil & Unidade de Reabilitação Neuropsicológica/URN – São Paulo/Brasil
“Neo-Reductionism: a heterodox view on the mind/brain relationships."

Neo-Reductionism (NR) has to do with the idea of viewing scientific theories as language-like structures and inter-theoretical reduction as a sort of translation or conceptual mapping, sharing both the positive qualities and the deficiencies displayed by them. Neo-Reductionism not only assumes this linguistic metaphor (as other authors have already done), but takes it to its fullest semiotic and philosophical consequences, as, for example, when it claims that, if conceived as a translation, there can be no mandatory sense for an inter-theoretical reduction to occur. An important corollary of assuming that potential translatability between theories is the urge for the adoption of a trans-disciplinary approach (and not only a multi- or inter-disciplinary one) in matters concerning mind/brain relationships. In accordance with the non-realistic ontological monism and the epistemological pluralism which characterize Neo-Reductionism, each discipline or field of investigation (like, for example, Neurobiology or Psychology) is assumed to have no epistemic preeminence over the others, being always regarded as “partial” and void of “completeness”, since it only contributes with a certain amount of insight to the comprehension of those relationships. Within such a framework, there can be no hierarchy among disciplines, being whatever description of their relationships thus conceived as a tentative and transitory hypothesis, always subject to revision and modification as History evolves. Due to its emphasis on a trans-disciplinary approach, the adoption of Neo-Reductionism can yield important consequences in the way one conceives both scientific investigation/theorizing and clinical practice, especially in the realms of Neuropsychology and Neuropsychiatry, stimulating the development not only of richer theoretical models but also of therapeutic procedures better suited to deal with the enormous complexity, specificity, and uniqueness of each patient.