Localization and Intrinsic Function

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Philosophy of Science, ISSN: 0031-8248, Vol: 80, Issue: 1, Page: 1-21

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Charles A. Rathkopf
University of Chicago Press
Arts and Humanities
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article description
This article describes one style of functional analysis commonly used in the neurosciences called "task-bound functional analysis." The concept of function invoked by this style of analysis is distinctive in virtue of the dependence relations it bears to transient environmental properties. It is argued that task-bound functional analysis cannot explain the presence of structural properties in nervous systems. An alternative concept of neural function is introduced that draws on the theoretical neuroscience literature, and an argument is given to show that this alternative concept may help to overcome the explanatory limitations of task-bound functional analysis. © 2013 by the Philosophy of Science Association. All rights reserved.