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Explanation and Integration in Mind and Brain Science$
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David M. Kaplan

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780199685509

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2018

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780199685509.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 11 May 2021

The Explanatory Autonomy of Cognitive Models

The Explanatory Autonomy of Cognitive Models

(p.44) 3 The Explanatory Autonomy of Cognitive Models
Explanation and Integration in Mind and Brain Science

Daniel A. Weiskopf

Oxford University Press

Psychology and neuroscience offer distinctive ways of modeling the mind/brain. However, cognitive and neural models often have significantly different structures, raising challenging questions about how they should be integrated to provide a complete picture of how the mind/brain system is organized. According to a certain mechanistic perspective, cognitive models should be viewed as being sketchy, incomplete versions of the fuller and more adequate models produced by neuroscience. Psychology is essentially an approximation to the mechanistic explanations given in neuroscience. Cognitive models are inherently inadequate, pending their gaps being filled in by a completed neuroscientific model. I argue that cognitive models are autonomous: they are sufficient in themselves to give adequate explanations of psychological and behavioral phenomena. In particular, they are not mere sketches, or approximations to underlying neuroscientific explanations. I offer a criterion for how psychological entities and processes may be real despite not mapping onto entities in neural mechanisms.

Keywords:   mechanism, autonomy, modeling, causality, psychological explanation, interfield integration

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