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Philosophical tools to understand conceptual development in neuroscience
  • Philipp Haueis,
  • Margulies Daniel
Philipp Haueis
Bielefeld University Faculty of History Philosophy and Theology

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Margulies Daniel
Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique
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Alongside models and methods, concepts are one of the building blocks of neuroscientific inquiry. They help researchers to pursue various goals, such as describing novel patterns in the data, situate these patterns in existing models, formulate new models or build explanations, e.g., of how the brain processes sensory information. Often the formation of novel or reinterpretation of existing concepts can signal major shifts in how we understand the brain and investigate it scientifically. Yet not every novel concept or reinterpretation produces such a shift, which raises the question of when concepts succeed or fail to change our understanding of the brain. In this paper, we introduce analytical tools developed by philosophers of science and concepts of brain organization as examples to discuss when introducing novel, reinterpreting existing and replacing outdated neuroscientific concepts succeeds or fails. Our discussion opens up novel avenues for neuroscientists and philosophers to collaborate around the limits of old and prospects of new concepts describing how the brain is organized.
05 Mar 2024Submitted to European Journal of Neuroscience
08 Mar 2024Assigned to Editor
08 Mar 2024Submission Checks Completed
10 Mar 2024Review(s) Completed, Editorial Evaluation Pending
17 Mar 2024Reviewer(s) Assigned