Publication
Title
Neural representations unobserved-or : a dilemma for the cognitive neuroscience revolution
Author
Abstract
Neural structural representations are cerebral map- or model-like structures that structurally resemble what they represent. These representations are absolutely central to the "cognitive neuroscience revolution", as they are the only type of representation compatible with the revolutionaries' mechanistic commitments. Crucially, however, these very same commitments entail that structural representations can be observed in the swirl of neuronal activity. Here, I argue that no structural representations have been observed being present in our neuronal activity, no matter the spatiotemporal scale of observation. My argument begins by introducing the "cognitive neuroscience revolution" (Sect. 1) and sketching a prominent, widely adopted account of structural representations (Sect. 2). Then, I will consult various reports that describe our neuronal activity at various spatiotemporal scales, arguing that none of them reports the presence of structural representations (Sect. 3). After having deflected certain intuitive objections to my analysis (Sect. 4), I will conclude that, in the absence of neural structural representations, representationalism and mechanism can't go together, and so the "cognitive neuroscience revolution" is forced to abandon one of its commitments (Sect. 5).
Language
English
Source (journal)
Synthese : an international journal for epistemology, methodology and philosophy of science. - Dordrecht, 1936, currens
Publication
Dordrecht : 2023
ISSN
0039-7857 [print]
1573-0964 [online]
DOI
10.1007/S11229-023-04418-6
Volume/pages
203 :1 (2023) , p. 1-42
Article Reference
7
ISI
001129206000001
Full text (Publisher's DOI)
Full text (open access)
The author-created version that incorporates referee comments and is the accepted for publication version Available from 20.12.2024
Full text (publisher's version - intranet only)
UAntwerpen
Faculty/Department
Research group
Project info
Towards a globally non-representational theory of the mind.
Publication type
Subject
Affiliation
Publications with a UAntwerp address
External links
Web of Science
Record
Identifier
Creation 09.01.2024
Last edited 16.01.2024
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