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The neurophilosophical project of elimination of mind: implications for psychology

Grant number: 11/19244-1
Support type:Scholarships in Brazil - Scientific Initiation
Effective date (Start): January 01, 2012
Effective date (End): December 31, 2014
Field of knowledge:Humanities - Psychology
Principal Investigator:Jonas Gonçalves Coelho
Grantee:Luiz Augusto Rosa
Home Institution: Faculdade de Ciências (FC). Universidade Estadual Paulista (UNESP). Campus de Bauru. Bauru , SP, Brazil


As we all know, the coming of psychology as a science is inseparable from the cartesian idea according to which all the psychological and material features of human beings, although inseparable, are essentially distinct. This separation would have made possible the constitution of a new science dedicated to the understanding of the mind in its normal and pathological features, since the science focused on studying and treating the body already since the Greeks. This original position of Psychology in regard to the dualistic constitution of man was the subject of much criticism, even within of this very same science, where we find a series of approaches conflicted about the nature of its subject matter, the suitable methodology to study it, the etiology of certain pathologies and the way of treating them. As if this disagreement wasn't enough, Psychology still competes with other fields of knowledge, in particular Neuroscience, which proposes explanatory models to a set of diseases called mental disorders and, especially treatment ways, which promised success in medium and long-term allegedly would imply the elimination of the mind and therefore Psychology itself. Understanding that this more radical approach is a strategic theoretical counterpoint for Psychology and that has important representative within the contemporary Philosophy of Mind, the Eliminative Materialism, in this present research we will study the justifications and the foundations of this philosophical approach against other, also contemporary, approaches of Philosophy of Mind, to, from there, reflect upon implications for contemporary psychological science. In other words, we want from the contemporary debate regarding the nature of the mind and its relation with the body in the Philosophy of Mind, taking as a guide the approach most contrary to the original philosophical premises of Psychology, namely, Eliminative Materialism, reflect upon the nature of its subject and the diseases so far called mental disorders. (AU)