In this short piece, physicist Dmitri Krioukov makes the case that we must expect complex systems (such as brains) to reduce to simple physical systems. Furthermore, he cautions that the pure collection of increasingly-large quantities of data on the anatomy and physiology of brains can not be productive in itself; success can only proceed through forward inference from the appropriate theoretical models. In fact, data-collection is only useful at this point insofar as it prompts the formulation of correct theory and the abandonment of the current paradigm, which he compares to the Ptolemaic model of the universe prior to Copernican thinking.

My question then, is this: Assuming scientific brain theory must ultimately be continuous with philosophy of mind, is eliminativism of "mental" states and content sufficient and/or necessary in order to instate the paradigm that will create the basis for "reverse-engineering" the brain? If not, why not? If so, then what must be eliminated and how would you go about it? What, if anything, must replace the old concepts in order to (begin to) give a thorough account of human behavior and biology?

  • $\begingroup$ Really nice question core that I'd like to answer, but I think the last question you tacked on at the end makes the question too broad to answer. Is it central to what you want to know? It basically reads like, "What would we need to know in order to know everything we don't currently know?" $\endgroup$ – Christian Hummeluhr Apr 16 '15 at 11:47
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    $\begingroup$ "but I think the last question you tacked on at the end makes the question too broad to answer" Yep, that sounds like me! Address whatever you feel needs to be. $\endgroup$ – David F Apr 16 '15 at 21:46

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