Referring to Localized Cognitive Operations in Parts of Dynamically Active Brains

The project of referring to localized cognitive operations in the brain has a long history and many impressive successes. It is a core element in the practice of giving mechanistic explanations of mental abilities. But it has also been challenged by prominent critics. One of the critics’ claims is that brain regions are not specialized for specific cognitive operations and any science that refers to them is misguided. Most recently this claim has been advanced by theorists promoting a dynamical-systems perspective on cognition. There are, however, two ways to view the dynamical-systems perspective. The first is as a competitor to the mechanist perspective, rejecting altogether the conception of the brain as a mechanism or set of mechanisms underlying mental phenomena and thereby rejecting any reference to localized cognitive operations. The second is as a corrective to an overly simplistic conception of a mechanism and as complementary to a more adequate understanding of how mechanisms function. In this chapter I defend the later perspective. On this perspective, the traditional project of referring to localized mental operations in the brain is still important, but both the cognitive operations and brain regions in which they are localized must be conceived in the context of a dynamically active system.
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories No categories specified
(categorize this paper)
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index Translate to english
Download options
PhilPapers Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 9,351
External links
  •   Try with proxy.
  • Through your library Only published papers are available at libraries
    References found in this work BETA

    No references found.

    Citations of this work BETA

    No citations found.

    Similar books and articles

    Monthly downloads

    Added to index


    Total downloads

    10 ( #120,359 of 1,088,374 )

    Recent downloads (6 months)

    1 ( #69,601 of 1,088,374 )

    How can I increase my downloads?

    My notes
    Sign in to use this feature

    Start a new thread
    There  are no threads in this forum
    Nothing in this forum yet.