What levels of explanation in the behavioural sciences?

Frontiers Media SA (2015)

Authors
Giuseppe Boccignone
Università degli Studi di Milano
Abstract
Complex systems are to be seen as typically having multiple levels of organization. For instance, in the behavioural and cognitive sciences, there has been a long lasting trend, promoted by the seminal work of David Marr, putting focus on three distinct levels of analysis: the computational level, accounting for the What and Why issues, the algorithmic and the implementational levels specifying the How problem. However, the tremendous developments in neuroscience knowledge about processes at different scales of organization together with the complexity of today cognitive theories suggest that there will hardly be only three levels of explanation. Instead, there will be many different degrees of commitments corresponding to the different granularities—from high-level (behavioural) models to low-level (neural and molecular) models of the cognitive research program. For instance, Bayesian approaches, that are usually advocated for formalizing Marr’s computational level and rational behaviour, have even been adopted to model synaptic plasticity and axon guidance by molecular gradients. As a result, we can consider the behavioural scientist as dealing with models at a multiplicity of levels. The purpose of this Research Topic in Frontiers in Theoretical and Philosophical Psychology is to promote an approach to the role of the levels and explanation and models which is of interest for cognitive scientists, neuroscientists, psychologists, behavioural scientists, and philosophers of science.
Keywords Levels of explanation  Cognitive science
Categories (categorize this paper)
Options
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

Our Archive


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 46,223
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

Explaining the Brain.Carl F. Craver - 2009 - Oxford University Press.
Unified Theories of Cognition.Allen Newell - 1990 - Harvard University Press.
Actions, Reasons, and Causes.Donald Davidson - 1963 - Journal of Philosophy 60 (23):685.
On the Proper Treatment of Connectionism.Paul Smolensky - 1988 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 11 (1):1-23.

View all 124 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Bayesian Models and Simulations in Cognitive Science.Giuseppe Boccignone & Roberto Cordeschi - 2007 - Workshop Models and Simulations 2, Tillburg, NL.
Neuroscience and the Explanation of Psychological Phenomena.Antti Revonsuo - 1999 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 22 (5):847-849.
Levels of Explanation Vindicated.Víctor M. Verdejo & Daniel Quesada - 2011 - Review of Philosophy and Psychology 2 (1):77-88.
The Relationship Between Psychological Capacities and Neurobiological Activities.Gregory Johnson - 2012 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 2 (3):453-480.
Sculpting Computational‐Level Models.Mark Blokpoel - 2018 - Topics in Cognitive Science 10 (3):641-648.
Marr's Three Levels: A Re-Evaluation. [REVIEW]Ron McClamrock - 1990 - Minds and Machines 1 (May):185-196.

Analytics

Added to PP index
2018-01-15

Total views
10 ( #773,826 of 2,285,728 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
5 ( #250,848 of 2,285,728 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads

My notes

Sign in to use this feature