Neural circuits and Block diagrams

Behavioral and Brain Sciences 22 (5):849-849 (1999)
This commentary is intended to illuminate Gold's & Stoljar's main contentions by exploiting a favorite comparison, namely, that between biology and electronics. Roughly, and leaving out Darwinian theory and the like, biology is physics and chemistry plus natural history just as electronics is physics plus wiring diagrams. Natural history (even that discovered by sophisticated apparatus such as electron microscopes) contains generalizations, not laws. Psychology and cognitive science typically give more abstract explanations, as do “block diagrams” in electronics, and are less dispensable.
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