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Instructor: Kent Johnson
Email:email@example.com Office Hours: Wed, 11:00—12:00 (and by appointment) Office Location: SST 755
Introduction. This course revolves around the general theme of
unobserved structure in scientific models of (complex) empirical
Models of this sort typically structure and organize the available
data. Sometimes, but not always, this structuring allows us to infer
presence of unobserved structure present in the individual entities
study. For example, a statistical model might support an interpretation
regarding the internal structure of the individuals sampled in one
in another case the very same mathematical model generated from a
identical data set might support an interpretation only concerning the
aggregate behavior of the sample or the population it was drawn from.
empirical interests and background on this theme concern issues in
psychology and linguistics. Depending on the interests and background
other participants, we may also explore some similar issues in other
areas such as biology and chemistry.
general issues, most or all of which will be explored are (in no
order): idealization, “levels” of analysis, multiple realizability and
the special sciences, the performance/competence distinction,
methodology, statistical data analysis, statistical modeling with
variables, cognitive architecture.
will include material by: Marr, Chomsky, Peacocke, Fodor, Matthews,
Bollen, Dunteman, Liu, Putnam, Forster.
David Townsend and
Thomas Bever, “What Every Psychologist Should Know about
Hilary Putnam “The
Nature of Mental States” and “Philosophy and Our Mental Life"
excerpts from Vision
Peacocke, “Explanation in Computational Psychology: Language,
Perception, and Level 1.5”
“Naturalistic Inquiry: Where Does Mental Representation fit in?”
“On Explanation in the Cognitive Sciences: Competence, Idealization,
and the Failure of the Classical Cascade”
“Methodological Reflections on Current Linguistic Theory”
“Language and Nature"
George Dunteman, Principal
selections from Structural Equations with Latent Variables
“Discovering Mental Processing Stages: The Method of Additive Factors”
“Approximation, Idealization, and Laws of nature”
Chuang Liu, “Laws
and Models in a Theory of Idealization”
“On the Proper Treatment of Quantification in Ordinary English”
Measurement analogies in
psychological and linguistic theorizing
“The Measurement of Mind”
“Does Linguistic Competence Require Knowledge of Language?”