in the Department of Philosophy and Religion

Philosophy Forum: Behavior Considered as an Enabling Constraint

Dr. Michael L. Anderson

University of Western Ontario

Thursday Oct. 17, 4:00-5:30 in Bryant Hall 207

“Behavior Considered as an Enabling Constraint”

“Two fundamental challenges of contemporary neuroscience are to make sense of the scalar relations in the nervous system and to understand the way behavior emerges from these relations while at the same time affects them. In this paper, we analyze the notion of enabling constraint and the way it can frame the two kinds of relations involved in the challenges: of different neural scales (e.g., molecular scale, genetic scale, single-neurons, neural networks, etc.) and between neural systems and behavior. We think the notion of enabling constraint provides a promising alternative to other classic, mechanistic understandings of these relations and the different issues they raise for contemporary neuroscience.”

The format of this event will be a workshop of Dr. Anderson’s paper. Requests for an advance copy of the paper can be directed to Dr. Neil Manson (

More information about future UM Philosophy Forum events can be found on the department calendar at