Mechanisms and Model-Based Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging

Philosophy of Science 82 (5):1035-1046 (2015)
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Abstract

Mechanistic explanations satisfy widely held norms of explanation: the ability to manipulate and answer counterfactual questions about the explanandum phenomenon. A currently debated issue is whether any nonmechanistic explanations can satisfy these explanatory norms. Weiskopf argues that the models of object recognition and categorization, JIM, SUSTAIN, and ALCOVE, are not mechanistic yet satisfy these norms of explanation. In this article I argue that these models are mechanism sketches. My argument applies recent research using model-based functional magnetic resonance imaging, a novel neuroimaging method whose significance for current debates on psychological models and mechanistic explanation has yet to be explored.

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Author's Profile

Mark Povich
University of Rochester

References found in this work

Explaining the Brain.Carl F. Craver - 2007 - Oxford, GB: Oxford University Press.
Studies in the logic of explanation.Carl Gustav Hempel & Paul Oppenheim - 1948 - Philosophy of Science 15 (2):135-175.
Explanation: a mechanist alternative.William Bechtel & Adele Abrahamsen - 2005 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 36 (2):421-441.
Studies in the Logic of Explanation.Carl Hempel & Paul Oppenheim - 1948 - Journal of Symbolic Logic 14 (2):133-133.

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