Functional identification of constraints on feature creation

Behavioral and Brain Sciences 24 (6):1147-1148 (2001)
Abstract
Dawson's provocative comment makes three connected points: (1) to be falsifiable, theories that assume flexible features must constrain their feature creation and mechanisms, (2) the explanatory power of such functional theories is rooted in the properties of their underlying physical mechanisms, and (3) to derive the relevant constraints of feature creation from these mechanisms, it is critical to avoid the scope slip. We will argue here that even though we agree with (1) and (2), (3) confuses two different levels of analysis of computational systems: the functional identification and the physical implementation of relevant constraints.
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