On some unwarranted tacit assumptions in cognitive neuroscience

Frontiers in Cognition 3 (67):1-13 (2012)
Abstract
The cognitive neurosciences are based on the idea that the level of neurons or neural networks constitutes a privileged level of analysis for the explanation of mental phenomena. This paper brings to mind several arguments to the effect that this presumption is ill-conceived and unwarranted in light of what is currently understood about the physical principles underlying mental achievements. It then scrutinizes the question why such conceptions are nevertheless currently prevailing in many areas of psychology. The paper argues that corresponding conceptions are rooted in four different aspects of our common-sense conception of mental phenomena and their explanation, which are illegitimately transferred to scientific enquiry. These four aspects pertain to the notion of explanation, to conceptions about which mental phenomena are singled out for enquiry, to an inductivist epistemology, and, in the wake of behavioristic conceptions, to a bias favoring investigations of input–output relations at the expense of enquiries into internal principles. To the extent that the cognitive neurosciences methodologically adhere to these tacit assumptions, they are prone to turn into a largely a-theoretical and data-driven endeavor while at the same time enhancing the prospects for receiving widespread public appreciation of their empirical findings.
Keywords cognitive neuroscience  behaviorism  common-sense notion of explanation
Categories (categorize this paper)
Options
 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
 
Download options
PhilPapers Archive Rainer Mausfeld, On some unwarranted tacit assumptions in cognitive neuroscience
External links
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

No references found.

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Similar books and articles
Stephen Turner (2012). Making the Tacit Explicit. Journal for the Theory of Social Behaviour 42 (4):385-402.
Jakob Hohwy (2004). The Experience of Mental Causation. Behavior and Philosophy 32 (2):377 - 400.
Nicholas Shea (2013). Neural Mechanisms of Decision-Making and the Personal Level. In Kwm Fulford, M. Davies, G. Graham, J. Sadler, G. Stanghellini & T. Thornton (eds.), Oxford Handbook of Philosophy and Psychiatry. OUP. 1063-1082.
Analytics

Monthly downloads

Added to index

2012-03-15

Total downloads

88 ( #15,738 of 1,102,043 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

4 ( #91,864 of 1,102,043 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature


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