Bayesian Cognitive Science, Monopoly, and Neglected Frameworks


A widely shared view in the cognitive sciences is that discovering and assessing explanations of cognitive phenomena whose production involves uncertainty should be done in a Bayesian framework. One assumption supporting this modelling choice is that Bayes provides the best approach for representing uncertainty. However, it is unclear that Bayes possesses special epistemic virtues over alternative modelling frameworks, since a systematic comparison has yet to be attempted. Currently, it is then premature to assert that cognitive phenomena involving uncertainty are best explained within the Bayesian framework. As a forewarning, progress in cognitive science may be hindered if too many scientists continue to focus their efforts on Bayesian modelling, which risks to monopolize scientific resources that may be better allocated to alternative approaches.

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Author Profiles

Matteo Colombo
Tilburg University
Lee Elkin
Erasmus University Rotterdam
Stephan Hartmann
Ludwig Maximilians Universität, München

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Citations of this work

Metaphysics of the Bayesian Mind.Justin Tiehen - forthcoming - Mind and Language.
Ranking Theory.Gabriele Kern-Isberner, Niels Skovgaard-Olsen & Wolfgang Spohn - forthcoming - Knauff, M. & Spohn, W. (Eds). The Handbook of Rationality. MIT Press.
Epistemic Irrationality in the Bayesian Brain.Daniel Williams - 2021 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 72 (4):913-938.

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