Mindvoyage l Carl F. Craver: "Do Neural Mechanisms Dictate Cognitive Ontology? Some Examples From Memory Science”
The Mindvoyage lectures feature prominent scholars from different disciplines including the humanities, biology, neuroscience and physics. On Thursday, November 03, 16 p.m. CET, the Mindvoyage lecture series features Carl F. Craver, Professor of Philosophy and Philosophy-Neuroscience-Psychology, Washington University, St. Louis, USA.
The lectures are presented by Lucia Melloni, Research Group Leader, Research Group Neural Circuits, Consciousness, and Cognition on behalf of the ARC-COGITATE Consortium.
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Following the outline of a recent paper with Jolien Fracken and Marc Slors, I lay out three interlocking problem for any effort to appeal to neural mechanism as the grounds for important decisions about a) the ontology of cognitive science, b) the justification of experimental operationalizations in cognitive science. That is, I argue we should jettison any simplistic idea that we can read the ontology of higher levels off the mechanistic structure of the world. To drive this point home, I close by considering the two lives of episodic memory: one life as a computational cognitive operation definable in terms of its computation and algorithm, and the other life as an epistemic achievement. I argue that any putative reduction relation among these is guilty of a category mistake, but that both are nonetheless legitimate ways of carving the human mind for different intellectual purposes. We should learn to live with that disconnect between the taxonomies we need to understand minds and the taxonomies we need to understand how they are implemented in brain mechanisms.
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