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Abstract

The emerging discipline of cognitive neuroscience (CN) enjoins the efforts of cognitive psychologists, neuroscientists, computer scientists, clinical neurologists, neurophilosophers, and many others working collaboratively across traditional disciplinary boundaries to elucidate the manner in which the physical operations of the brain give rise to the vast panoply of human mental and behavioral events. The present article describes the foundational tenets of the CN metatheoretical framework and contends that the CN framework is capable of providing a coherent, unifying scientific paradigm for the discipline of clinical psychology. Clinical psychology's adoption of the CN paradigm would facilitate (a) its consilient linkage with the natural sciences, (b) resolution of long-standing internecine theoretical schisms, and (c) enhanced understanding and treatment of numerous forms of psychopathology. Nevertheless, psychology's historically influential radical behavioral (RB) perspective is not easily reconciled with the CN paradigm. However, unlike CN, RB (a) is not fully consilient with the natural sciences, (b) fails to articulate the proximal causal mechanisms that mediate environment–behavior relations, and (c) engages in “greedy reductionism” in its disavowal of informational levels of complexity in the patterning of neural activity. The article concludes with a discussion of the possibility of theoretical rapprochement between CN and RB. © 2001 John Wiley & Sons, Inc. J Clin Psychol 57: 1067–1088, 2001.