Behavioral and Brain Sciences 27 (4):590-591 (2004)
Assuming that the vehicle of imaginal thought is a spatial model may not be quite as egregious an error as assuming it is a two-dimensional picture, but it represents no less a reification error. Because the model is not a literal physical layout, one is still owed an explanation of why spatial properties hold in the model – whether because of architectural constraints or by stipulation. The difference is like the difference between explaining behavior from a principle and predicting it by looking it up in a list. In the latter case no purpose is being served by calling it a mental model.
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