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Comptes Rendus Biologies
Sous presse. Epreuves corrigées par l'auteur. Disponible en ligne depuis le mercredi 5 août 2015
Doi : 10.1016/j.crvi.2015.06.014
Sciences of the brain: The long road to scientific maturity and to present-day reductionism
Sciences du cerveau : la longue route vers la maturité et le réductionnisme du temps présent
 

Michel Le Moal a, b, , Joël Swendsen b, c, d
a Neurocentre Magendie, Inserm U862, Bordeaux, France 
b Université de Bordeaux, 146, rue Léo-Saignat, 33077 Bordeaux cedex, France 
c CNRS UMR 5287, Bordeaux, France 
d École pratique des hautes études, Paris, France 

Corresponding author. Neurocentre Magendie, Inserm U862, 146, rue Léo-Saignat, 33077 Bordeaux cedex, France.
Abstract

When examined in a long-term perspective, brain sciences demonstrate certain conceptual consistencies as well as theoretical oppositions that have lasted for centuries, ever since Ancient Greece. The neurosciences have progressed more on the basis of technological than conceptual advances, and the constant recuperation of new techniques from other sciences have led to a continually reductionist view of the brain and its functions. In a different perspective, if not opposite to the reductionism, are the psychological constructs and those that constitute the functional unity of individuals, which are still mysterious. In fact, the gap between these two approaches has never been larger than it is now. This chapter discusses the enduring nature of some of these problems and their recent consequences.

The full text of this article is available in PDF format.
Résumé

Dans une perspective inscrite dans le long terme, les sciences du cerveau laissent apparaître quelques constantes conceptuelles et des oppositions théoriques qui perdurent au cours des siècles. Les neurosciences avancent en raison des progrès technologiques et ces derniers conduisent à un réductionnisme sans fin des approches. Dans une perspective différente, sinon opposée du réductionnisme, se trouvent ce qui constitue les grandes fonctions psychologiques et ce qui constitue l’unité fonctionnelle des individus, dont les comportements restent dans le mystère ; la séparation de ces deux approches n’a jamais été aussi nette. Ce chapitre discute quelques-uns entre ces problèmes dans leurs permanences et dans leurs récentes dérives.

The full text of this article is available in PDF format.

Keywords : Conceptual Neuroscience, Psychiatry, Reductionism, Brain and Society

Mots clés : Neurosciences théoriques, Psychiatrie, Réductionnisme, Cerveau et Société




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