Dynamical models

An alternative or complement to mechanistic explanations?

David M. Kaplan, William Bechtel*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

55 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Abstract While agreeing that dynamical models play a major role in cognitive science, we reject Stepp, Chemero, and Turvey's contention that they constitute an alternative to mechanistic explanations. We review several problems dynamical models face as putative explanations when they are not grounded in mechanisms. Further, we argue that the opposition of dynamical models and mechanisms is a false one and that those dynamical models that characterize the operations of mechanisms overcome these problems. By briefly considering examples involving the generation of action potentials and circadian rhythms, we show how decomposing a mechanism and modeling its dynamics are complementary endeavors.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)438-444
Number of pages7
JournalTopics in Cognitive Science
Volume3
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2011
Externally publishedYes

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