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Multiple Realizations: Real or Not?
The concept of multiple realization is an issue that has been discussed among philosophers and psychologists alike for years. Even with the advent of modern technology, we still seem to understand so little about the human brain, and along with that, the human thought process. Multiple realization is an issue that, no doubt, falls into this category. Multiple realization is a real occurrence. From the description of realization, it is evident that in the process of relating things in both the brain and mind, some individuals find no difficulty in doing just the same. The brain has different levels of interpreting concepts and basically this is what happens when multiple realization swings into action. The level of interpretation, then, helps to demonstrate that the concept of multiple realization is, in fact, real, and this concept will be discussed within the confines of this analysis.
In order to understand multiple realization, we need to understand the concept of what we see everyday. There is always a causal agent in everything that we see each day of our lives. As such, multiple realization theory's reality can be supported by Searle's description in writing "Minds, Brains and Science." Searle relates the example of a relationship between the water in the glass and the molecule of water which essentially cannot be described in any of the three states of matter (Searle 22). This concept, therefore, does not seem to fit into any of the regular interpretations of existence. So, it can thus be interpreted in light of multiple realization -- meaning that it can be realized in several different ways although the concepts of water described in the example do not necessarily seem to fit into common definitions on one hand, and on the other hand, they actually do fit into several interpretations. This is an example, therefore, of multiple realization in action.
How so? The explanation is simple. The fact that a particle would be thought of as a nonexistent particle yet have several attributes that is, both water liquid and can even turn gaseous. Furthermore, these very same conditions can be manipulated to have different properties, and this, in itself, is a wonder. It is water whether it is ice, water vapor, or liquid water -- any category is still water. So there, in essence, is an example of multiple realization in action; water existing in its different states at any given time. Furthermore, water's ability to be manipulated to and from different states only adds to the impact of multiple realization.
Furthermore, another scientific fact emerges to show this concept in action. Matter itself needs to be discussed. All matter is interconnected, and that is true no matter how irrelevant the interrelationship may be. Say for example in the egg and chicken question, "who came first?" Right away after being asked that question, one will realize that his or her mind will jump into action trying to correlate the two. The states of matter act in a sort of push-pull relationship, and often when we are asked various questions, we need to consider the various states of objects and how they relate and react to each other in order to answer questions, and often times, in order to even act. While none of us can come to a conclusion about the chicken and the egg (and this researcher has never done so,), the fact of the matter is that the relationship between the chicken and the egg exists. So basically there is a network of variables to almost all matter around us, and these variables and connections impact the way we consider multiple realization.
Furthermore, in order to gain a better understanding of multiple realization, it is important to understand its scientific definitions. Multiple realization (MMR) is the state where there is a case of a realization but then the realization takes totally different levels for each and every one. There are different observations of MMR at the variable neurobiological levels. A variable keeps on changing and this so does our brain function. Jaegwon Kim states that "The fact that two brains are physico-chemically different does not entail that the two brains cannot be in the "same physico-chemical state." .. (22). To argue that the human brain and the canine brain cannot be in the same brain state because of their different physico-chemical structure is like arguing that there can be no microphysical state underlying temperature. This is because all kinds of objects with extremely diverse microphysical compositions can have the same temperature. Furthermore, water-solubility cannot have a micro structural "correlate" because both salt and sugar, which differ a great deal from each other in atomic composition, are soluble in water. If the human brain and the reptilian brain can be in the same "temperature state," why can they not be in the same "brain state," where this state is characterized in physico-chemical terms? (Bechtel and Mundale 189-190). Ideally, we get the relationship that, being in a state is being subjected to a condition, a condition where the resulting responses to the environmental factors and even other factors supports Kim's theory. Kim is very specific about the brain on which we rely on to literally do everything therefore the interconnection between our physical being and our almost emotional being.
Further authors support the concept of multiple realization. Kenneth Aizawa and Carl Gillett, in their paper suggest that although research has been carried out on the human brain, the research has not yielded any results in the drawing of conclusions as to the most vital features of the human brain at point V1. (12). they go further to draw that there is a close relationship between the variation in the findings in the non-human neuronal networks and the brain maps that have been over time used in medicine. Therefore, giving the notion that it is real, multiple realization exists. The fact that these discoveries, found two centuries apart, means that nothing has changed over time. The same principle still remains. It will only be fair therefore if one were to acknowledge the fact that there maintains a close relationship between the physical world and the brains inner state of mind. Thus, there should be a clear distinction between two or more properties which may be termed as determinable and determinants.
Further explanation can help enlighten us on this discussion. For realization to be achieved, a proper understanding of the constituents of the topic being realized must be arrived at. Say for example it is a ruler. The extent to which one's brain will determine the rulers' properties is only if one sees it or feels it. The mere mention of a ruler does not deservedly credit the one foot ruler or the plastic ruler. It may be a steel rule, or a one meter ruler. This is lining the psychology with the philosophical thinking of the mind.
To further promote the concept that multiple realization is, in fact, real, it becomes necessary to take a look at Bechtel and Michael. Bechtel and Michael are very serious proponents of the theory and they are quoted as defining the problems facing critiques of the theory as people who will fail to see the natural curve of someone's spine and how each person is specially built (200). The curve of the spine would be taken to indicate our brains. Unless something else happens to the body, the spine will maintain its natural curve till an external action comes upon the spine, just like our brains. Any external influence will ultimately affect our perception of things.
Though there are proponents and opponents of the notion of realization, my stand is well-known and I need not state more since the arguments against multiple realization are plenty. However, with these in mind it is only fair that we expound on the unfounded fallacies that people have come up with. Some are analyzed by Bechtel and Mundale who focus on their critics as having little or no relevance to understanding of the psychological processes (Bechtel and Mundale 176). The basic point of this statement results in Bechtel and Mundale rejecting a theory of procedural or methodological connection between the two sciences that is neuroscience and psychology. According to these authors, their critics are oblivious of the statements they make towards the realization principle and hence the proponents find the weaknesses to strike back. Some of the critics of multiple realization eventually tend to agree with the principle; for example, Aizawa and Gillett find one of the theories opposing them significantly siding with the multiple realization.
Betchel and Mundale are not the only authors to argue against critics of multiple realization. Out rightly, Kim eventually gives a statement on the issue of projectibility and touches more on multiplicity and diversity. All these are human brain functions, the ability to be able to indicate signs of diversity and being able to possess different characteristics at different times is a trait well associated with the human being…[continue]
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"Neurophilosophy Multiple Realization Real" 07 June 2011. Web.25 October. 2016. <http://www.paperdue.com/essay/neurophilosophy-multiple-realization-real-118594>
"Neurophilosophy Multiple Realization Real", 07 June 2011, Accessed.25 October. 2016, http://www.paperdue.com/essay/neurophilosophy-multiple-realization-real-118594