The Explanatory Need for Mental Representations in Cognitive Science

Mind and Language 18 (4):427-439 (2003)
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Abstract

Ramsey (1997) argues that connectionist representations ‘do not earn their explanatory keep’. The aim of this paper is to examine the argument Ramsey gives to support that conclusion. In doing so, I identify two kinds of explanatory need—need relative to a possible explanation and need relative to a true explanation and argue that internal representations are not needed for either connectionist or non‐connectionist possible explanations but that it is quite likely that they are needed for true explanations. However, to show that the latter is the case requires more than a consideration of the form of explanation involved.

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Barbara Von Eckardt
Rhode Island School of Design

References found in this work

Functional analysis.Robert E. Cummins - 1975 - Journal of Philosophy 72 (November):741-64.
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Explaining Behaviour.F. Dretske - 1993 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 44 (1):157-165.

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