Cognitive Science 22 (3):295-317 (1998)

Authors
William Bechtel
University of California, San Diego
Abstract
Advocates of dynamical systems theory (DST) sometimes employ revolutionary rhetoric. In an attempt to clarify how DST models differ from others in cognitive science, I focus on two issues raised by DST: the role for representations in mental models and the conception of explanation invoked. Two features of representations are their role in standing-in for features external to the system and their format. DST advocates sometimes claim to have repudiated the need for stand-ins in DST models, but I argue that they are mistaken. Nonetheless, DST does offer new ideas as to the format of representations employed in cognitive systems. With respect to explanation, I argue that some DST models are better seen as conforming to the covering-law conception of explanation than to the mechanistic conception of explanation implicit in most cognitive science research. But even here, I argue, DST models are a valuable complement to more mechanistic cognitive explanations
Keywords Cognitive Science   Dynamic Systems Theory   Representation   Explanation   Psychological Explanation
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DOI 10.1207/s15516709cog2203_2
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References found in this work BETA

Image and Mind.Stephen Michael Kosslyn - 1980 - Harvard University Press.

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A Deflationary Account of Mental Representation.Frances Egan - 2020 - In Joulia Smortchkova, Krzysztof Dolega & Tobias Schlicht (eds.), Mental Representations. New York, USA: Oxford University Press.
Representations Gone Mental.Alex Morgan - 2014 - Synthese 191 (2):213-244.
The Nature of Dynamical Explanation.Carlos Zednik - 2011 - Philosophy of Science 78 (2):238-263.

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