David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Minds and Machines 21 (1):33-39 (2011)
In a 2008 paper, Walmsley argued that the explanations employed in the dynamical approach to cognitive science, as exemplified by the Haken, Kelso and Bunz model of rhythmic finger movement, and the model of infant preservative reaching developed by Esther Thelen and her colleagues, conform to Carl Hempel and Paul Oppenheim’s deductive-nomological model of explanation (also known as the covering law model). Although we think Walmsley’s approach is methodologically sound in that it starts with an analysis of scientific practice rather than a general philosophical framework, we nevertheless feel that there are two problems with his paper. First, he focuses only on the deductivenomological model and so neglects the important fact that explanations are causal. Second, the explanations offered by the dynamical approach do not take the deductive-nomological format, because they do not deduce the explananda from exceptionless laws. Because of these two points, Walmsley makes the dynamical explanations in cognitive science appear problematic, while in fact they are not
|Keywords||Covering law Explanation Dynamical cognitive science Cognition Causal asymmetry Dynamicism|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
|Through your library|
References found in this work BETA
Carl F. Craver (2007). Explaining the Brain: Mechanisms and the Mosaic Unity of Neuroscience. Oxford University Press, Clarendon Press ;.
Daniel M. Hausman (1998). Causal Asymmetries. Cambridge University Press.
Carl Hempel (1965). Aspects of Scientific Explanation and Other Essays in the Philosophy of Science. The Free Press.
Carl G. Hempel & Paul Oppenheim (1948). Studies in the Logic of Explanation. Philosophy of Science 15 (2):135-175.
Esther Thelen, Gregor Schöner, Christian Scheier & Linda B. Smith (2001). The Dynamics of Embodiment: A Field Theory of Infant Perseverative Reaching. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 24 (1):1-34.
Citations of this work BETA
Arnon Levy & William Bechtel (2013). Abstraction and the Organization of Mechanisms. Philosophy of Science 80 (2):241-261.
Similar books and articles
Joel Walmsley (2008). Explanation in Dynamical Cognitive Science. Minds and Machines 18 (3):331-348.
Joel Walmsley (2010). Emergence and Reduction in Dynamical Cognitive Science. New Ideas in Psychology 28:274-282.
Carlos Zednik (2011). The Nature of Dynamical Explanation. Philosophy of Science 78 (2):238-263.
Fritz Rohrlich (1994). Scientific Explanation: From Covering Law to Covering Theory. PSA: Proceedings of the Biennial Meeting of the Philosophy of Science Association 1994:69 - 77.
M. C. W. Janssen & Y. -H. Tan (1991). Why Friedman's Non-Monotonic Reasoning Defies Hempel's Covering Law Model. Synthese 86 (2):255 - 284.
Keld Stehr Nielsen (2006). Dynamical Explanation in Cognitive Science. Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie 37 (1):139 - 163.
Joel Press (2009). Physical Explanations and Biological Explanations, Empirical Laws and a Priori Laws. Biology and Philosophy 24 (3):359-374.
Thomas Nickles (1971). Covering Law Explanation. Philosophy of Science 38 (4):542-561.
Peter Railton (1978). A Deductive-Nomological Model of Probabilistic Explanation. Philosophy of Science 45 (2):206-226.
Michael Martin (1968). Situational Logic and Covering Law Explanations in History. Inquiry 11 (1-4):388 – 399.
Anthony Chemero & Michael T. Turvey (2011). Philosophy for the Rest of Cognitive Science. Topics in Cognitive Science 3 (2):425-437.
Nigel Stepp, Anthony Chemero & Michael T. Turvey (2011). Philosophy for the Rest of Cognitive Science. Topics in Cognitive Science 3 (2):425-437.
David M. Kaplan & William Bechtel (2011). Dynamical Models: An Alternative or Complement to Mechanistic Explanations? Topics in Cognitive Science 3 (2):438-444.
William P. Bechtel (1998). Representations and Cognitive Explanations: Assessing the Dynamicist Challenge in Cognitive Science. Cognitive Science 22 (3):295-317.
Matthew Botvinick (2012). Commentary: Why I Am Not a Dynamicist. Topics in Cognitive Science 4 (1):78-83.
Added to index2010-11-18
Total downloads16 ( #100,924 of 1,098,615 )
Recent downloads (6 months)6 ( #42,970 of 1,098,615 )
How can I increase my downloads?