2004
Volume 111, Issue 3
  • ISSN: 0002-5275
  • E-ISSN: 2352-1244

Abstract

Abstract

Explanations in terms of representations are ubiquitous in cognitive neuroscience. In this paper I will show that the question of who is using the representation is of crucial importance, but not often explicitly answered. Two possible users, the scientist and the cognitive system are theoretically strictly distinct, but the distinction is in practice often blurred. It is tempting to jump from ‘representations to the scientist’ to ‘representations to the system’. This step, however, is unwarranted. I will show that representations to the scientist are not in themselves problematic, and can even be useful, but can lead to wrong conclusions. The problems with representations for the system are more fundamental.

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2019-10-01
2021-12-08
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  • Article Type: Research Article
Keyword(s): cognitive neuroscience; dynamical systems; explanation; representationalism
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