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Filling in versus finding out: A ubiquitous confusion in cognitive science

Dennett, Daniel (1992) Filling in versus finding out: A ubiquitous confusion in cognitive science. [Book Chapter]

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Abstract

One of the things you learn if you read books and articles in (or about) cognitive science is that the brain does a lot of "filling in"--not filling in, but "filling in"--in scare quotes. My claim today will be that this way of talking is not a safe bit of shorthand, or an innocent bit of temporizing, but a source of deep confusion and error. The phenomena described in terms of "filling in" are real, surprising, and theoretically important, but it is a mistake to conceive of them as instances of something being filled in, for that vivid phrase always suggests too much--sometimes a little too much, but often a lot too much. Here are some examples (my boldface throughout).

Item Type:Book Chapter
Subjects:Philosophy > Philosophy of Mind
ID Code:267
Deposited By:Dennett, Daniel
Deposited On:14 Apr 1998
Last Modified:11 Mar 2011 08:53

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