Bayesian Cognitive Science, Unification, and Explanation


Authors
Matteo Colombo
Tilburg University
Stephan Hartmann
Ludwig Maximilians Universität, München
Abstract
It is often claimed that the greatest value of the Bayesian framework in cognitive science consists in its unifying power. Several Bayesian cognitive scientists assume that unification is obviously linked to explanatory power. But this link is not obvious, as unification in science is a heterogeneous notion, which may have little to do with explanation. While a crucial feature of most adequate explanations in cognitive science is that they reveal aspects of the causal mechanism that produces the phenomenon to be explained, the kind of unification afforded by the Bayesian framework to cognitive science does not necessarily reveal aspects of a mechanism. Bayesian unification, nonetheless, can place fruitful constraints on causal–mechanical explanation. 1 Introduction2 What a Great Many Phenomena Bayesian Decision Theory Can Model3 The Case of Information Integration4 How Do Bayesian Models Unify?5 Bayesian Unification: What Constraints Are There on Mechanistic Explanation?5.1 Unification constrains mechanism discovery5.2 Unification constrains the identification of relevant mechanistic factors5.3 Unification constrains confirmation of competitive mechanistic models6 ConclusionAppendix.
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
Reprint years 2014, 2015, 2017
DOI 10.1093/bjps/axv036
Options
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

Our Archive
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

The Predictive Mind.Jakob Hohwy - 2013 - Oxford University Press UK.
Causality: Models, Reasoning and Inference.Judea Pearl - 2000 - Cambridge University Press.

View all 47 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

View all 12 citations / 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.
Unification and Explanation.Erik Weber & Maarten Van Dyck - 2002 - Synthese 131 (1):145 - 154.
Unification, Deduction, and History: A Reply to Steel.Todd Jones - 1998 - Philosophy of Science 65 (4):672-681.
A Bayesian Account of the Virtue of Unification.Wayne Myrvold - 2003 - Philosophy of Science 70 (2):399-423.
On a Bayesian Analysis of the Virtue of Unification.Jonah N. Schupbach - 2005 - Philosophy of Science 72 (4):594-607.
Reductionism and the Unification Theory of Explanation.Todd Jones - 1995 - Philosophy of Science 62 (1):21-30.

Analytics

Added to PP index
2015-03-11

Total views
336 ( #16,212 of 2,259,693 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
52 ( #13,541 of 2,259,693 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads

My notes

Sign in to use this feature