Constraints on Bayesian Explanation

Abstract

The hypothesis that human cognition may be well characterized as a set of Bayesian computations has been the topic of considerable debate over the last two decades. Recently, critics have argued that this hypothesis is either unlikely to be true or otherwise too unconstrained to be particularly useful for explaining cognition (e.g., Bowers & Davis, 2012), whereas proponents have defended their position by stating that the Bayesian perspective has been misunderstood, is not necessarily in conflict with other perspectives on cognition, and can still be explanatorily useful as a framework for cognitive science even if under-constrained in many ways (e.g., Griffiths, Chater, Norris, & Pouget, 2012). Our position in this debate is that both sides of this debate may be right as well as wrong.


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