David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Frontiers in Cognition 3 (67):1-13 (2012)
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)|
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
Gualtiero Piccinini (2006). Computational Explanation in Neuroscience. Synthese 153 (3):343-353.
Jeffrey S. Poland & Barbara Von Eckardt (2004). Mechanism and Explanation in Cognitive Neuroscience. Philosophy of Science 71 (5):972-984.
Antti Revonsuo (1999). Neuroscience and the Explanation of Psychological Phenomena. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 22 (5):847-849.
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.
Keith Butler (1994). Neural Constraints in Cognitive Science. Minds and Machines 4 (2):129-62.
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.
M. Ruz (2006). Let the Brain Explain the Mind: The Case of Attention. Philosophical Psychology 19 (4):495-505.
Anne Jaap Jacobson (2003). Mental Representations: What Philosophy Leaves Out and Neuroscience Puts In. Philosophical Psychology 16 (2):189-204.
Carsten Held, Markus Knauff & Gottfried Vosgerau (eds.) (2006). Mental Models and the Mind: Current Developments in Cognitive Psychology, Neuroscience, and Philosophy of Mind. Elsevier.
Matthew Broome & Lisa Bortolotti (eds.) (2009). Psychiatry as Cognitive Neuroscience: Philosophical Perspectives. Oxford University Press.
Carrie Figdor (2013). What is the “Cognitive” in Cognitive Neuroscience? Neuroethics 6 (1):105-114.
Hannu Tiitinen (2001). How to Interface Cognitive Psychology with Cognitive Neuroscience? Behavioral and Brain Sciences 24 (1):148-149.
Added to index2012-03-15
Total downloads94 ( #16,795 of 1,692,524 )
Recent downloads (6 months)6 ( #38,243 of 1,692,524 )
How can I increase my downloads?