We have to change mind. Neural Plausibility and the Crisis of Cognitive Explanations

  • Francesco Galofaro


The development of imaging techniques used by neurosciences, caused a crisis in psychology, the core discipline of cognitivism. Cognitive psychology provided a framework and a common language for different researches: linguistics, philosophy, informatics, and anthropology, carrying to models aimong to naturalization, to the attempt of explaining an "esse" with a "necesse esse", with the risk of confusing cultural creations with natural features. Innate architectures and philosophical beliefs led often to ignore linguistic data. The crisis regards three points:

(1) When shifted from a psychological context to the neuroscience, the meaning of cognitive metalanguage does not refer any more to mental functions but moreover to brain anatomical regions and their metabolism.

(2) The criterion of psychological plausibility is not sufficient to choose between alternative models;

(3) Both the innatist and the experience-based explanations are not in grade to express the relation between “mental” functions, cortical anatomy and its biological morphogenesis and phylogenesis.

Showing a series of examples referred to vision and space representation in language, the article aims to a different model of explanation, based on the criterion of neural plausibility, focused on learning and cortical plasticity, in which a central role is played by phylogenesis and morphogenesis, allowing feedback relationships between nature and culture.

How to Cite
Galofaro, F. (2012) “We have to change mind. Neural Plausibility and the Crisis of Cognitive Explanations”, Rivista Italiana di Filosofia del Linguaggio, 0(SFL), pp. 101-115. Available at: http://www.rifl.unical.it/index.php/rifl/article/view/65 (Accessed: 14June2021).