Title
The covering law model applied to dynamical cognitive science : a comment on Joel Walmsley The covering law model applied to dynamical cognitive science : a comment on Joel Walmsley
Author
Faculty/Department
Faculty of Arts. Philosophy
Publication type
article
Publication
Dordrecht ,
Subject
Philosophy
Source (journal)
Minds and machines. - Dordrecht
Volume/pages
21(2011) :1 , p. 33-39
ISSN
0924-6495
Carrier
E
Target language
English (eng)
Full text (Publishers DOI)
Abstract
In a 2008 paper, Walmsley argued that the explanations employed in the dynamical approach to cognitive science, as exemplified by the Haken, Kelso and Bunz model of rhythmic finger movement, and the model of infant preservative reaching developed by Esther Thelen and her colleagues, conform to Carl Hempel and Paul Oppenheims deductive-nomological model of explanation (also known as the covering law model). Although we think Walmsleys approach is methodologically sound in that it starts with an analysis of scientific practice rather than a general philosophical framework, we nevertheless feel that there are two problems with his paper. First, he focuses only on the deductivenomological model and so neglects the important fact that explanations are causal. Second, the explanations offered by the dynamical approach do not take the deductive-nomological format, because they do not deduce the explananda from exceptionless laws. Because of these two points, Walmsley makes the dynamical explanations in cognitive science appear problematic, while in fact they are not.
E-info
https://repository.uantwerpen.be/docman/iruaauth/2ceada/132638.pdf