Computational explanation in neuroscience

Synthese 153 (3):343-353 (2006)
Authors
Gualtiero Piccinini
University of Missouri, St. Louis
Abstract
According to some philosophers, computational explanation is proprietary
to psychology—it does not belong in neuroscience. But neuroscientists routinely offer computational explanations of cognitive phenomena. In fact, computational explanation was initially imported from computability theory into the science of mind by neuroscientists, who justified this move on neurophysiological grounds. Establishing the legitimacy and importance of computational explanation in neuroscience is one thing; shedding light on it is another. I raise some philosophical questions pertaining to computational explanation and outline some promising answers that are being developed by a number of authors.
Keywords Computational Explanation  Mechanistic Explanation  Computational Neuroscience  Cognitive Neuroscience  Theoretical Neuroscience  Computationalism  Pancomputationalism  Computational Theory of Mind  Representation  Introspection
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DOI 10.1007/s11229-006-9096-y
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References found in this work BETA

Unified Theories of Cognition.Allen Newell - 1990 - Harvard University Press.
The Language of Thought.Jerry A. Fodor - 1975 - Harvard University Press.

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Citations of this work BETA

Functional Integration and the Mind.Jakob Hohwy - 2007 - Synthese 159 (3):315-328.
The Search of “Canonical” Explanations for the Cerebral Cortex.Alessio Plebe - 2018 - History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences 40 (3):40.
Computationalism in the Philosophy of Mind.Gualtiero Piccinini - 2009 - Philosophy Compass 4 (3):515-532.

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Computation Without Representation.Gualtiero Piccinini - 2008 - Philosophical Studies 137 (2):205-241.
Computational Explanation and Mechanistic Explanation of Mind.Gualtiero Piccinini - 2007 - In Francesco Ferretti, Massimo Marraffa & Mario De Caro (eds.), Synthese. Springer. pp. 343-353.
The Semantic Challenge to Computational Neuroscience.Rick Grush - 2001 - In Peter K. Machamer, Peter McLaughlin & Rick Grush (eds.), Theory and Method in the Neurosciences. University of Pittsburgh Press. pp. 155--172.

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