The University of Sussex

In defence of functional analysis

Joe Faith

Computationalism presupposed a modular-functional analysis of cognitive behaviour, and its failure has encouraged the search for alternative analytical techniques, such as behavioural decomposition and dynamical systems theory. This paper argues that these alternatives can be no more than useful heuristics, and that a functional analysis is necessary for an understanding of intentional adaptive behaviour, but that this need not imply the existence of cognitive modules.

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