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The reification objection to bottom-up cognitive ontology revision

  • Joseph B. McCaffrey (a1) and Edouard Machery (a1)

Abstract

Anderson (2014) proposes a bottom-up approach to cognitive ontology revision: Neuroscientists should revise their taxonomies of cognitive constructs on the basis of brain activation patterns across many tasks. We argue that such bottom-up proposal is bound to commit a mistake of reification: It treats the abstract mathematical entities uncovered by dimension reduction techniques as if they were real psychological entities.

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