Memory as a cognitive kind: Brains, remembering dyads, and exograms

In Catherine Kendig (ed.), Natural Kinds and Classification in Scientific Practice. Routledge. pp. 145-156 (2016)
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Abstract

Theories of natural kinds can be seen to face a twofold task: First, they should provide an ontological account of what kinds of (fundamental) things there are, what exists. The second task is an epistemological one, accounting for the inductive reliability of acceptable scientific concepts. In this chapter I examine whether concepts and categories used in the cognitive sciences should be understood as natural kinds. By using examples from human memory research to illustrate my argument, I critically examine some of the main contenders for a theory of natural kinds. I show that when applied to complex target domains – such as human cognition – both essentialist theories and more liberal accounts of natural kindhood (such as HPC theory) fail to simultaneously satisfy the ontological and epistemological desiderata for a theory of natural kinds. I argue, however, that natural kindhood of a category in a metaphysical sense is not necessary for its inductive reliability, and that HPC theory provides an analytically useful account of the grounds of category-based inductive inference.

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Citations of this work

Causation and mnemonic roles: on Fernández’s Functionalism.Nikola Andonovski - 2021 - Estudios de Filosofía (Universidad de Antioquia) 64:139-153.
Natural Kinds and Classification in Scientific Practice. [REVIEW]Zdenka Brzović - 2016 - International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 30 (4):412-415.

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References found in this work

Rethinking mechanistic explanation.Stuart Glennan - 2002 - Proceedings of the Philosophy of Science Association 2002 (3):S342-353.
Rethinking Mechanistic Explanation.Stuart Glennan - 2002 - Philosophy of Science 69 (S3):S342-S353.
Scientific kinds.Marc Ereshefsky & Thomas A. C. Reydon - 2015 - Philosophical Studies 172 (4):969-986.

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