From Mindless Neuroscience and Brainless Psychology to Neuropsychology

  • Mario Bunge


Three main strategies for the study of behavior and mentation are examined: behaviorism, mentalism, and psychobiology. Behaviorism is found wanting for eschewing most of the problems that traditional psychology posed but left unsolved. Two kinds of mentalism are distinguished: traditional and cognitivist (or information-theoretic). Both are found wanting for ignoring the nervous system and begging the question, since they postulate the mind instead of explaining it. Only the psychobiological (or neuropsychological) approach, which regards the mind as a collection of brain functions, is found promising for studying that which guides behavior and does the mentation, namely, the brain. It is also shown to have the advantage of promoting the union of psychology with biology and of bridging psychiatry to neurology, neurophysiology, and neurochemistry. It is argued that this approach is the only fully scientific one of the three approaches discussed in the paper.


Turing Machine Mental Event Scientific Approach General Outlook Tensor Network 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Bandura, A. (1974). Behavior theory and the models of man. American Psychologist, 29, 85–869.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Bindra, D. (1976). A theory of intelligent behavior. New York: Wiley Interscience.Google Scholar
  3. Bindra, D. (1984). Cognitivism: Its origin and future in psychology. In J. R. Royce & L. P. Mos (Eds.), Annals of theoretical psychology(vol. 1, pp. 1 – 29 ). New York: Plenum Press.Google Scholar
  4. Bunge, M. (1977). Levels and reduction. American Journal of Physiology, 233 (3), R75–R82.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  5. Bunge, M. (1980). The mind-body problem. Oxford: Pergamon Press.Google Scholar
  6. Bunge, M. (1983). Epistemology and methodology, vols. 5 and 6 of the Treatise on basic philosophy. Dordrecht and Boston: Reidel.Google Scholar
  7. Cooper, L. (1973). A possible organization of animal memory and learning. In B. Lundqvist & S. Lundqvist (Eds.), Collective properties of physical systems(pp. 252 – 264 ). New York: Academic Press.Google Scholar
  8. Cowan, J. D., & Ermentrout, G. B. (1979). A mathematical theory of visual hallucination patterns. Biological Cybernetics, 34, 137–150.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Eccles, J. C. (1980). The human psyche. New York: Springer International.Google Scholar
  10. Fodor, J. A. (1975). The language of thought. New York: Crowell.Google Scholar
  11. Fodor, J. A. (1981). The mind-body problem. Scientific American, 244 (1), 114–123.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Hebb, D. O. (1949). The organization of behavior. New York: Wiley.-.Google Scholar
  13. Koch, S. (1978). Psychology and the future. American Psychologist, 33, 631–647.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Luce, R. D., Bush, R. R., & Galanter, E. (Eds.). (1963–1965). Handbook of mathematical psychology (3 vols.). New York: Wiley.Google Scholar
  15. MacKay, D. M. (1978). Selves and brains. Neuroscience, 3, 599–606.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Malsburg, C. von der (1973). Self-organization of orientation-sensitive cells in the striate cortex. Kybernetik, 14, 85–100.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Pellionisz, A., & Llinás, R. (1979). Brain modeling by tensor network theory and computer simulation. Neuroscience, 4, 323–348.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Pérez, R., Glass, L., & Shlaer, R. (1975). Development of specificity in the cat visual cortex. Journal of Mathematical Biology, 1, 275–288.Google Scholar
  19. Popper, K. R., & Eccles, J. C. (1977). The self and its brain. New York: Springer International.Google Scholar
  20. Pribram, K. (1971). Languages of the brain. Englewood Cliffs,NJ: Prentice-Hall.Google Scholar
  21. Putnam, H. (1975) Mind, language and reality. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Pylyshyn, Z. W. (1978). Computational models and empirical constraints. Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 1, 93–99.Google Scholar
  23. Skinner, B. F. (1938). The behavior of organisms: An experimental analysis. New York: Appleton- Century-Crofts.Google Scholar
  24. Turing, A. A. (1950). Can a machine think? Mind NS, 59, 433–460.Google Scholar
  25. Watson, J. B. (1925). Behaviorism. New York: The People’s Institute.Google Scholar
  26. Wilson, H. R. (1975). A synaptic model for spatial frequency adaptation. Journal of Theoretical Biology, 50, 327–352.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1985

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mario Bunge
    • 1
  1. 1.Foundations and Philosophy of Science UnitMcGill UniversityMontrealCanada

Personalised recommendations