Localization and Intrinsic Function

Citation data:

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

Publication Year:
2013
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Repository URL:
http://philsci-archive.pitt.edu/id/eprint/13392
DOI:
10.1086/668878
Author(s):
Charles A. Rathkopf
Publisher(s):
University of Chicago Press
Tags:
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.