Cartographies of the Mind: Philosophy and Psychology in by Mario De Caro, Massimo Marraffa, Francesco Ferretti

By Mario De Caro, Massimo Marraffa, Francesco Ferretti

This booklet is a set of essays exploring a few classical dimensions of brain either from the viewpoint of an empirically-informed philosophy and from the viewpoint of a philosophically-informed psychology. The chapters replicate the various kinds of interplay which will make clear concerns and debates touching on a few conventional cognitive capacities. the result's a philosophically and scientifically up to date choice of "cartographies of the mind".

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Additional resources for Cartographies of the Mind: Philosophy and Psychology in Intersection (Studies in Brain and Mind, Volume 4)

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That they are essential representations13). On the contrary, a careful look at how computational explanation TP PT TP TP PT TP PT TP TP PT PT PT 26 GUALTIERO PICCININI is deployed by computer scientists reveals that computations are individuated by the strings of symbols on which they are defined and by the operations performed on those symbols, regardless of which, if any, interpretation is applied to the strings. Psychologists and neuroscientists rarely distinguish between explanation that appeals to computation and explanation that appeals to representation; this has convinced many—especially philosophers of mind—that computational explanation of mind is essentially representational.

16 Nevertheless, it is obvious that everything, including many neural systems, can be described computationally with some accuracy. This fact (under the modeling view of computational explanation) establishes the truth of CTM a priori, without requiring empirical investigation. But CTM was intended to be an empirical theory, grounded on an empirical hypothesis about the kinds of mechanism that explain mental capacities. If the versatility of computational description is sufficient to establish that neural mechanisms perform computations, then this cannot be an empirical hypothesis about the explanation of mental capacities—it is merely the trivial application to brains of a general thesis that applies to everything.

We have already seen above that computational explanation must be more than the appeal to inputs and internal states and processes, on pain of losing its specificity to a special class of mechanisms and trivializing CTM. For an explanation to be genuinely computational, some constraints need to be put on the nature of the inputs, outputs, and internal states and processes. A related point applies to functional explanation. The strength of functional explanation derives from the possibility of appealing to different kinds of internal states and processes.

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