Behavioral and Brain Sciences



Open Peer Commentary
Gold & Stoljar: A neuron doctrine

Begging the question of causation in a critique of the neuron doctrine


J. Tim O'Meara a1
a1 Obermann Center for Advanced Studies, University of Iowa, Iowa City, IA 52242 omeara@anthropology.unimelb.edu.au

Abstract

Gold & Stoljar's argument rejecting the “explanatory sufficiency” of the radical neuron doctrine depends on distinguishing it from the trivial neuron doctrine. This distinction depends on the thesis of “supervenience,” which depends on Hume's regularity theory of causation. In contrast, the radical neuron doctrine depends on a physical theory of causation, which denies the supervenience thesis. Insofar as the target article argues by drawing implications from the premise of Humean causation, whereas the radical doctrine depends on the competing premise of physical causation, the resulting critique of the neuron doctrine amounts largely to begging the question of causation.



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