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Daniel C. Burnston
Tulane University
  1. Why We May Not Find Intentions in the Brain.Sebo Uithol, Daniel C. Burnston & Pim Haselager - 2014 - Neuropsychologia 56:129-139.
    Intentions are commonly conceived of as discrete mental states that are the direct cause of actions. In the last several decades, neuroscientists have taken up the project of finding the neural implementation of intentions, and a number of areas have been posited as implementing these states. We argue, however, that the processes underlying action initiation and control are considerably more dynamic and context sensitive than the concept of intention can allow for. Therefore, adopting the notion of ‘intention’ in neuroscientific explanations (...)
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    A Contextualist Approach to Functional Localization in the Brain.Daniel C. Burnston - 2016 - Biology and Philosophy 31 (4):527-550.
    Functional localization has historically been one of the primary goals of neuroscience. There is still debate, however, about whether it is possible, and if so what kind of theories succeed at localization. I argue for a contextualist approach to localization. Most theorists assume that widespread contextual variability in function is fundamentally incompatible with functional decomposition in the brain, because contextualist accounts will fail to be generalizable and projectable. I argue that this assumption is misplaced. A properly articulated contextualism can ground (...)
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    Scientists’ Use of Diagrams in Developing Mechanistic Explanations: A Case Study From Chronobiology.Daniel C. Burnston, Benjamin Sheredos, Adele Abrahamsen & William Bechtel - 2014 - Pragmatics and Cognition 22 (2):224-243.
    We explore the crucial role of diagrams in scientific reasoning, especially reasoning directed at developing mechanistic explanations of biological phenomena. We offer a case study focusing on one research project that resulted in a published paper advancing a new understanding of the mechanism by which the central circadian oscillator in Synechococcus elongatus controls gene expression. By examining how the diagrams prepared for the paper developed over the course of multiple drafts, we show how the process of generating a new explanation (...)
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    Data Graphs and Mechanistic Explanation.Daniel C. Burnston - 2016 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 57:1-12.
    It is a widespread assumption in philosophy of science that data is what is explained by theory—that data itself is not explanatory. I draw on instances of representational and explanatory practice from mammalian chronobiology to suggest that this assumption is unsustainable. In many instances, biologists employ representations of data in explanatory ways that are not reducible to constraints on or evidence for representations of mechanisms. Data graphs are used to exemplify relationships between quantities in the mechanism, and often these representations (...)
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  5. Perceptual Integration, Modularity, and Cognitive Penetration.Daniel C. Burnston & Jonathan Cohen - 2015 - In A. Raftopoulos & J. Zeimbekis (eds.), Cognitive Influences on Perception: Implications for Philosophy of Mind, Epistemology, and Philosophy of Action. Oxford University Press.
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    Interface Problems in the Explanation of Action.Daniel C. Burnston - 2017 - Philosophical Explorations 20 (2):242-258.
    When doing mental ontology, we must ask how to individuate distinct categories of mental states, and then, given that individuation, ask how states from distinct categories interact. One promising proposal for how to individuate cognitive from sensorimotor states is in terms of their representational form. On these views, cognitive representations are propositional in structure, while sensorimotor representations have an internal structure that maps to the perceptual and kinematic dimensions involved in an action context. This way of thinking has resulted in (...)
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    Review of Angela Potochnik’s Idealization and the Aims of Science. [REVIEW]Daniel C. Burnston - 2019 - Philosophy of Science 86 (3):577-583.
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    Correction To: Cognitive Penetration and the Cognition–Perception Interface.Daniel C. Burnston - 2019 - Synthese 196 (8):3459-3459.
    On page 3653, there is a mistake in the explanation of the Cornsweet illusion. In fact, the explanation is that the panel perceived as darker is facing towards the light source—in the case of this figure the light is coming from the right.
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