ERIC Number: EJ772160
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2007
Reference Count: 0
The Role of Falsification in the Development of Cognitive Architectures: Insights from a Lakatosian Analysis
Cooper, Richard P.
Cognitive Science, v31 n3 p509-533 2007
It has been suggested that the enterprise of developing mechanistic theories of the human cognitive architecture is flawed because the theories produced are not directly falsifiable. Newell attempted to sidestep this criticism by arguing for a Lakatosian model of scientific progress in which cognitive architectures should be understood as theories that develop over time. However, Newell's own candidate cognitive architecture adhered only loosely to Lakatosian principles. This paper reconsiders the role of falsification and the potential utility of Lakatosian principles in the development of cognitive architectures. It is argued that a lack of direct falsifiability need not undermine the scientific development of a cognitive architecture if broadly Lakatosian principles are adopted. Moreover, it is demonstrated that the Lakatosian concepts of positive and negative heuristics for theory development and of general heuristic power offer methods for guiding the development of an architecture and for evaluating the contribution and potential of an architecture's research program.
Descriptors: Cognitive Structures, Cognitive Processes, Models, Scientific Concepts, Scientific Research
Lawrence Erlbaum. Available from: Taylor & Francis, Ltd. 325 Chestnut Street Suite 800, Philadelphia, PA 19106. Tel: 800-354-1420; Fax: 215-625-2940; Web site: http://www.tandf.co.uk/journals/default.html
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Opinion Papers; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A