The Nature of Dynamical Explanation

Philosophy of Science 78 (2):238-263 (2011)
Abstract
The received view of dynamical explanation is that dynamical cognitive science seeks to provide covering law explanations of cognitive phenomena. By analyzing three prominent examples of dynamicist research, I show that the received view is misleading: some dynamical explanations are mechanistic explanations, and in this way resemble computational and connectionist explanations. Interestingly, these dynamical explanations invoke the mathematical framework of dynamical systems theory to describe mechanisms far more complex and distributed than the ones typically considered by philosophers. Therefore, contemporary dynamicist research reveals the need for a more sophisticated account of mechanistic explanation.
Keywords Dynamical Systems  Mechanistic Explanation  Embodied Cognition  Cognitive Science
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References found in this work BETA
William Bechtel (2005). Explanation: A Mechanist Alternative. Studies in History and Philosophy of Biol and Biomed Sci 36 (2):421--441.

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Arthur B. Markman (2001). Are Dynamical Systems the Answer? Behavioral and Brain Sciences 24 (1):50-51.
Keld Stehr Nielsen (2006). Dynamical Explanation in Cognitive Science. Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie 37 (1):139 - 163.
Herbert Jaeger (1998). Today's Dynamical Systems Are Too Simple. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 21 (5):643-644.
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