Duke University
Department of Philosophy
PhD, 2014
  •  1
    Dynamical systems play a central role in explanations in cognitive neuroscience. The grounds for these explanations are hotly debated and generally fall under two approaches: non-mechanistic and mechanistic. In this paper, I first outline a neurodynamical explanatory schema that highlights the role of dynamical systems in cognitive phenomena. I next explore the mechanistic status of such neurodynamical explanations. I argue that these explanations satisfy only some of the constraints on mechanis…Read more
  •  18
    Neurocomputational Nosology: Malfunctions of Models and Mechanisms
    with Michael L. Platt
    Frontiers in Psychology 7. 2016.
  •  17
    Cognitive Recycling
    British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 70 (1): 239-268. 2019.
    Theories in cognitive science, and especially cognitive neuroscience, often claim that parts of cognitive systems are reused for different cognitive functions. Philosophical analysis of this concept, however, is rare. Here, I first provide a set of criteria for an analysis of reuse, and then I analyse reuse in terms of the functions of subsystems. I also discuss how cognitive systems execute cognitive functions, the relation between learning and reuse, and how to differentiate reuse from related…Read more
  •  17
    Cognitive Recycling
    British Journal for the Philosophy of Science. 2016.
    Theories in cognitive science, and especially cognitive neuroscience, often claim that parts of cognitive systems are reused for different cognitive functions. Philosophical analysis of this concept, however, is rare. Here, I first provide a set of criteria for an analysis of reuse, and then I analyse reuse in terms of the functions of subsystems. I also discuss how cognitive systems execute cognitive functions, the relation between learning and reuse, and how to differentiate reuse from related…Read more
  •  2
    Mental machines
    Biology and Philosophy 34 (6): 63. 2019.
    Cognitive neuroscientists are turning to an increasingly rich array of neurodynamical systems to explain mental phenomena. In these explanations, cognitive capacities are decomposed into a set of functions, each of which is described mathematically, and then these descriptions are mapped on to corresponding mathematical descriptions of the dynamics of neural systems. In this paper, I outline a novel explanatory schema based on these explanations. I then argue that these explanations present a no…Read more
  •  4
    Mental machines
    Biology and Philosophy 34 (6): 63. 2019.
    Cognitive neuroscientists are turning to an increasingly rich array of neurodynamical systems to explain mental phenomena. In these explanations, cognitive capacities are decomposed into a set of functions, each of which is described mathematically, and then these descriptions are mapped on to corresponding mathematical descriptions of the dynamics of neural systems. In this paper, I outline a novel explanatory schema based on these explanations. I then argue that these explanations present a no…Read more
  •  5
    Codes, functions, and causes: A critique of Brette's conceptual analysis of coding
    with Andrew Jaegle
    Behavioral and Brain Sciences 42. 2019.
    Brette argues that coding as a concept is inappropriate for explanations of neurocognitive phenomena. Here, we argue that Brette's conceptual analysis mischaracterizes the structure of causal claims in coding and other forms of analysis-by-decomposition. We argue that analyses of this form are permissible and conceptually coherent and offer essential tools for building and developing models of neurocognitive systems like the brain.