2013 | 21 | 4(84) | 51-77
Article title

Reprezentacjonizm a wyjaśnianie mechanistyczne w kognitywistyce

Title variants
Representationalism and Mechanistic Explanation in Cognitive Science
Languages of publication
There is a growing consensus that explanation in cognitive science is a form of mechanistic explanation. According to this view, explaining a cognitive capacity of a system consists in describing a mechanism responsible for it, where a mechanism is understood as a collection of appropriately organized, functionally specified, interacting components. The article employs a mechanistic view on cognitive scientific explanation in order to discuss the problem of the status of mental representations as explanatory posits invoked by cognitive scientists. The article argues that mechanistic outlook on the problem of mental representations enables one to formulate explicit conditions that need to be fulfilled in order for a given explanation to be legitimately representational. Furthermore, the article develops the thesis that there is (at least) one notion of mental representation that meets these conditions. This notion is based on understanding mental representations as internal models or simulations, where representing is based on structural resemblance relation holding between the vehicle of representation and what is represented.
Physical description
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