Computational explanation in neuroscience

Synthese 153 (3):343-353 (2006)
According to some philosophers, computational explanation is proprietary
to psychology—it does not belong in neuroscience. But neuroscientists routinely offer computational explanations of cognitive phenomena. In fact, computational explanation was initially imported from computability theory into the science of mind by neuroscientists, who justified this move on neurophysiological grounds. Establishing the legitimacy and importance of computational explanation in neuroscience is one thing; shedding light on it is another. I raise some philosophical questions pertaining to computational explanation and outline some promising answers that are being developed by a number of authors.
Keywords Computational Explanation  Mechanistic Explanation  Computational Neuroscience  Cognitive Neuroscience  Theoretical Neuroscience  Computationalism  Pancomputationalism  Computational Theory of Mind  Representation  Introspection
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DOI 10.2307/27653430
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Gualtiero Piccinini (2007). Computational Explanation and Mechanistic Explanation of Mind. In Francesco Ferretti, Massimo Marraffa & Mario De Caro (eds.), Synthese. Springer 343-353.
Rick Grush (2001). The Semantic Challenge to Computational Neuroscience. In Peter K. Machamer, Peter McLaughlin & Rick Grush (eds.), Theory and Method in the Neurosciences. University of Pittsburgh Press 155--172.

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