Phenomena and Objects of Research in the Cognitive and Behavioral Sciences

Philosophy of Science 84 (5):1165-1176 (2017)
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It is commonly held that research efforts in the cognitive and behavioral sciences are mainly directed toward providing explanations and that phenomena figure into scientific practice qua explananda. I contend that these assumptions convey a skewed picture of the research practices in question and of the role played by phenomena. I argue that experimental research often aims at exploring and describing “objects of research” and that phenomena can figure as components of, and as evidence for, such objects. I situate my analysis within the existing literature and illustrate it with examples from memory research.

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Uljana Feest
Universität Hannover


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