Intractability and the use of heuristics in psychological explanations

Synthese 187 (2):471-487 (2012)
Many cognitive scientists, having discovered that some computational-level characterization f of a cognitive capacity φ is intractable, invoke heuristics as algorithmic-level explanations of how cognizers compute f. We argue that such explanations are actually dysfunctional, and rebut five possible objections. We then propose computational-level theory revision as a principled and workable alternative.
Keywords psychological explanation  computational-level theory  computational complexity  intractability  approximation  algorithm  NP-hard  heuristics  function  cognitive science
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DOI 10.1007/s11229-010-9847-7
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Iris van Rooij (2012). Self-Organization Takes Time Too. Topics in Cognitive Science 4 (1):63-71.

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