The aim of this paper is to examine the usefulness of the Machamer, Darden, and Craver (2000) mechanism approach to gaining an understanding of explanation in cognitive neuroscience. We argue that although the mechanism approach can capture many aspects of explanation in cognitive neuroscience, it cannot capture everything. In particular, it cannot completely capture all aspects of the content and significance of mental representations or the evaluative features constitutive of psychopathology.
Ramsey (1997) argues that connectionist representations 'do not earn their explanatory keep'. The aim of this paper is to examine the argument Ramsey gives to support that conclusion. In doing so, I identify two kinds of explanatory need—need relative to a possible explanation and need relative to a true explanation and argue that internal representations are not needed for either connectionist or nonconnectionist possible explanations but that it is quite likely that they are needed for true explanations. However, to show (...) that the latter is the case requires more than a consideration of the form of explanation involved. (shrink)
People often make trait judgments (e.g. John is intelligent) about themselves and others. Social perception researchers have attempted to study the accuracy of such judgments. Such studies raise the philosophical/conceptual question of what it means to say that a person's judgment is accurate. Two attempts have recently been made to taxonomize current research in terms of the notion of accuracy which has been adopted. My aim in this paper is twofold: first, to argue that the proposed philosophical taxonomies are (...) problematic and, hence, should be abandoned, and second, to recommend adoption of an alternative "minimalist" notion of accuracy. (shrink)