Skip to main content

Choosing between the long and short informational routes to psychological explanation

Buy Article:

$47.00 plus tax (Refund Policy)

Following recent work by Don Ross (Ross, 2000; Ross & Spurrett, 2004), I contrast the influential theories of Daniel Dennett and Paul Churchland in information-theoretic terms. Dennett makes much of the fact that the morphological shorthand which emerges before a witness as she looks upon cohesive aggregates of matter commands some measure of predictive power. This, for him, speaks against eliminating recourse to an intentional vocabulary. By contrast, the eliminative materialism defended by Churchland does not gloss such informational compressibility as an explanatory desideratum, and thus regards the informational noise which accrues at higher levels of description as patently unacceptable. Yet, since it is unlikely, as Ross, Ladyman, and Collier (2007) have recently suggested, that anything remains once we subtract the appeal to patterns, I argue that the ubiquity of informational compression in scientific explanation seriously undermines the claim that talk of the mental could be eliminated.
No Reference information available - sign in for access.
No Citation information available - sign in for access.
No Supplementary Data.
No Data/Media
No Metrics

Keywords: Churchland; Dennett; Intentionality; Patterns

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2013-02-01

More about this publication?
  • Access Key
  • Free content
  • Partial Free content
  • New content
  • Open access content
  • Partial Open access content
  • Subscribed content
  • Partial Subscribed content
  • Free trial content
Cookie Policy
Cookie Policy
Ingenta Connect website makes use of cookies so as to keep track of data that you have filled in. I am Happy with this Find out more