The Nature of Dynamical Explanation

Philosophy of Science 78 (2):238-263 (2011)

Authors
Carlos Zednik
Otto von Guericke Universität, Magdeburg
Abstract
The received view of dynamical explanation is that dynamical cognitive science seeks to provide covering law explanations of cognitive phenomena. By analyzing three prominent examples of dynamicist research, I show that the received view is misleading: some dynamical explanations are mechanistic explanations, and in this way resemble computational and connectionist explanations. Interestingly, these dynamical explanations invoke the mathematical framework of dynamical systems theory to describe mechanisms far more complex and distributed than the ones typically considered by philosophers. Therefore, contemporary dynamicist research reveals the need for a more sophisticated account of mechanistic explanation.
Keywords Dynamical Systems  Mechanistic Explanation  Embodied Cognition  Cognitive Science
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DOI 10.1086/659221
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References found in this work BETA

Explanation: A Mechanist Alternative.William Bechtel - 2005 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Biol and Biomed Sci 36 (2):421--441.
When Mechanistic Models Explain.Carl F. Craver - 2006 - Synthese 153 (3):355-376.
Mechanisms and Natural Kinds.Carl F. Craver - 2009 - Philosophical Psychology 22 (5):575-594.

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A Property Cluster Theory of Cognition.Cameron Buckner - 2013 - Philosophical Psychology (3):1-30.

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