Mechanisms and Model-Based Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging

Philosophy of Science 82 (5):1035-1046 (2015)
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Mechanistic explanations satisfy widely held norms of explanation: the ability to manipulate and answer counterfactual questions about the explanandum phenomenon. A currently debated issue is whether any nonmechanistic explanations can satisfy these explanatory norms. Weiskopf argues that the models of object recognition and categorization, JIM, SUSTAIN, and ALCOVE, are not mechanistic yet satisfy these norms of explanation. In this article I argue that these models are mechanism sketches. My argument applies recent research using model-based functional magnetic resonance imaging, a novel neuroimaging method whose significance for current debates on psychological models and mechanistic explanation has yet to be explored.
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Explaining the Brain.Craver, Carl F.
Explanation: A Mechanist Alternative.Bechtel, William & Abrahamsen, Adele
Minimal Model Explanations.Batterman, Robert W. & Rice, Collin C.

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The Cognitive Neuroscience Revolution.Boone, Worth & Piccinini, Gualtiero

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