Methodological Dualism and a Multi-Explanation Framework—An approach needed for understanding behavior

  • Sam S Rakover


At present there is no explanation for the Mind/Brain relationship. It is hard to conceive of mentalistic explanations in terms of mechanistic explanations, where mechanistic explanations refer to explanations common in the sciences such as neurophysiological and computational, and mentalistic explanations are based on the individual's inner world such as will, belief, intention, and purpose. And, it is difficult to provide a comprehensive explanation of behavior and its components by an appeal to mechanistic explanations only. Therefore, it makes sense to develop a new methodological approach, Methodological Dualism, which leads to the construction of a Multi-Explanation Framework for developing specific psychological theories. This approach is not based on the usual attempt to reduce mental processes to neurophysiological processes. It addresses complex behavior by means of multiple explanations (mechanistic and mentalistic), which are appropriately matched to behavior and its components. This approach offers a deeper understanding of behavior than that provided by mechanistic explanations alone.