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Intractability and the use of heuristics in psychological explanations

van Rooij, Iris and Wright, Cory and Wareham, Todd (2012) Intractability and the use of heuristics in psychological explanations. Synthese.

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Abstract

Many cognitive scientists, having discovered that some computational-level characterization f of a cognitive capacity φ is intractable, invoke heuristics as algorithmic-level explanations of how cognizers compute f. We argue that such explanations are actually dysfunctional, and rebut five possible objections. We then propose computational-level theory revision as a principled and workable alternative.


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Item Type: Published Article or Volume
Creators:
CreatorsEmailORCID
van Rooij, Irisi.vanrooij@donders.ru.nl
Wright, Corycory.wright@zoho.com
Wareham, Toddharold@mun.ca
Keywords: psychological explanation, computational-level theory, computational complexity, intractability, heuristics, NP-hard, algorithm, approximation
Subjects: Specific Sciences > Cognitive Science
Specific Sciences > Computation/Information
General Issues > Explanation
General Issues > Models and Idealization
Specific Sciences > Psychology/Psychiatry
Depositing User: Dr. Cory Wright
Date Deposited: 05 Jul 2018 09:11
Last Modified: 05 Jul 2018 09:11
Item ID: 9184
Journal or Publication Title: Synthese
Publisher: Springer
Official URL: http://www.springerlink.com/content/rv63w1335ut772...
DOI or Unique Handle: 10.1007/s11229-010-9847-7
Subjects: Specific Sciences > Cognitive Science
Specific Sciences > Computation/Information
General Issues > Explanation
General Issues > Models and Idealization
Specific Sciences > Psychology/Psychiatry
Date: 2012
URI: http://philsci-archive.pitt.edu/id/eprint/9184

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