Beyond Single‐Level Accounts: The Role of Cognitive Architectures in Cognitive Scientific Explanation

Topics in Cognitive Science 7 (2):243-258 (2015)
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We consider approaches to explanation within the cognitive sciences that begin with Marr's computational level or Marr's implementational level and argue that each is subject to fundamental limitations which impair their ability to provide adequate explanations of cognitive phenomena. For this reason, it is argued, explanation cannot proceed at either level without tight coupling to the algorithmic and representation level. Even at this level, however, we argue that additional constraints relating to the decomposition of the cognitive system into a set of interacting subfunctions are required. Integrated cognitive architectures that permit abstract specification of the functions of components and that make contact with the neural level provide a powerful bridge for linking the algorithmic and representational level to both the computational level and the implementational level



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