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Dr. John Bickle

John Bickle, Ph.D.

Professor of Philosophy
Adjunct Professor of Psychology
Room: 1030 George Hall
Bickle’s CV

Additional Academic Appointment (as of September 2014)
Affiliate Faculty
Department of Neurobiology and Anatomical Sciences
University of Mississippi Medical Center
Jackson, MS
My UMC webpage

P.O. Box JS
Mississippi State University
Mississippi State, MS 39762

Research and Teaching Interests

Bickle works primarily in the areas of philosophy of neuroscience, philosophy of science (especially the nature and scope of scientific reductionism), and cellular and molecular mechanisms of cognition and consciousness. He has also written on the impact of logical positivism, especially the pragmatism of Rudolph Carnap. Recently he has been working specifically on strategies of long-range experiment planning in the brain sciences, and research tool development in neurobiology with an eye toward its lessons for our general understanding of scientific practice.

He is the author of four books, the editor of the Oxford Handbook of Philosophy and Neuroscience, and has published more than 85 articles, book chapters, encyclopedia entries, and book reviews in professional philosophy and neuroscience journals and volumes. He has given over 280 professional talks, including invited addresses in Germany, France, England, Spain, Portugal, Greece, Norway, Sweden, Holland, Mexico, Peru, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Slovenia, Romania, Italy, and Israel. He has been an invited keynote lecturer at numerous national and international conferences, has given the annual Dunbar Lecture at Millsaps College in Jackson, MS, has been an invited speaker at two international meetings at the Banbury Center at Cold Spring Harbor National Laboratories, Long Island, NY, the inaugural Donald Gustafson Memorial Lecture at the University of Cincinnati, and the Bar Hillel lectures in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem, Israel. In Fall 2019 he will be a Visiting Fellow at the Konrad Lorenz Institute in Klosterneuberg, Austria.

In 2014 Bickle published his fourth book, Engineering the Next Revolution in Neuroscience, co-authored by UCLA neurobiologist Alcino J. Silva and Anthony Landreth (Bickle's former Ph.D. student at the University of Cincinnati and Silva's former post-doc at the UCLA College of Medicine). Published by Oxford University Press’s Brain and Behavior series, this book presents a comprehensive analysis of the conditions sufficient for establishing a causal-mechanistic hypothesis scientifically in actual neuroscientific practice, and shows how some new resources from bio-informatics can be mobilized to increase the efficacy of neuroscientific research. An update to his entries on “The Philosophy of Neurosience” and “Multiple Realizability” have recently been published in the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy ( According the PhilPapers ( his published works have been cited more than 1,700 times.


  • B.A. University of California, Los Angeles, 1983
  • M.A., Ph.D. University of California, Irvine, 1989
  • Dissertation Title: Towards a Scientific Reformulation of the Mind-Body Problem

Recent Representative Publications:

  • “Molecularizing the mind: An introduction to molecular and cellular cognition” (co-author Ann Sophie Barwich). In B.D. Young and C. Dicey-Jennings (eds.), Mind, Cognition, and Neuroscience: A Philosophical Introduction. New York: Routledge, forthcoming.
  • “Don’t throw away the tin-foil hats just yet: A libertarian defense of promulgating unwarranted conspiracy theories,” (Co-author Marica Bernstein.) In Huemer, M., Borland, T., and Hillman, T.A. (eds.), Dissenting Philosophers: against the Political Current of the Academy. Forthcoming from Palgrave Press.
  • “Laser lights and designer drugs: New techniques for descending levels of mechanisms “in a single bound”?” Topics in Cognitive Sciences (TopiCS) 12/4: 1241-1256, 2020. Online first: DOI: 10.1111/tops.12452
  • "Multiple realizability" (fully revised and updated, Summer 2020) In E. Zalta (ed.), Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophyi, .
  • “Philosophy of neuroscience” (co-authored with Gualtiero Piccinini). In Oxford Bibliographies in Philosophy, D. Prichard (Ed.), New York: Oxford University Press, February 2020.

John Bickle's Books at Barnes and Noble

Psychoneural Reduction
Psychoneural Reduction
Philosophy And Neuroscience, A Ruthlessley Reductive Account
Philosophy And Neuroscience,
A Ruthlessley Reductive Account
Understanding Scientific Reasoning
Understanding Scientific Reasoning
Oxford Handbook of Philosophy and Neuroscience
Oxford Handbook of Philosophy
and Neuroscience
Engineering the Next Revolution in Neuroscience: The New Science of Experiment Planning
Engineering the Next
Revolution in Neuroscience:
The New Science of
Experiment Planning

Other Information

Bickle was U.S. Director of Budapest Semester in Cognitive Science, a study abroad program in English held each fall semester at historic Eötvös University in Budapest Hungary, since the program's inception nine years ago, until 2012. Click on the link below for more information about the program.

BSCS - Budapest Semester in Cognitive Science
BSCS - Budapest Semester in
Cognitive Science -