Models of Explanation in Cognitive Science
DOI link for Models of Explanation in Cognitive Science
Models of Explanation in Cognitive Science book
The objective of this chapter is to introduce explanatory models applied in cognitive (neuro)science and the project of mechanistic integration of cognitive science. Key concepts in the debate on the nature of scientific explanation are introduced. Next, the chapter reviews selected models of explanation, including the deductive-nomological model, personal explanations, functional explanations, dynamical explanations, and, last but not least, mechanistic explanations. The mechanistic model of explanation is especially important because it provides an integrative framework for cognitive science, according to which different research fields contribute to a multilevel mechanistic explanation by providing constraints on the space of mechanisms. An integrative approach overcomes the limitations of particular explanatory frameworks and thus is an optimal approach to multifaceted mental phenomena. It is also argued that phenomenology does not provide a genuine model of explanation but rather that it provides a constitutive understanding of the mental phenomena in question. It is hypothesized that a constitutive phenomenological understanding can provide constraints on mechanistic explanations, namely, functional and dynamical constraints.