TYLER BURGE “A Real Science of Mind” http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/12/19/a-real-science-of-mind/
Tyler Burge氏はUCLAの哲学特別教授*1。著書にTruth, Thought, Reason: Essays on Frege、Foundations of Mind、Origins of Objectivityあり。
最近、脳科学の諸発見が心理学や生物学を侵略している。そのような傾向をBurge氏はneurobabbleとも呼ぶのだが、そこでは”We are told that the brain — or some area of it sees, decides, reasons, knows, emotes, is altruistic/egotistical, or wants to make love.”
特定の心理学的現象と脳の特定の部位の活性化との対応関係を記述しているだけで、そのメカニズムや理由を説明しているわけではない。「わかったという幻想（the illusion of understanding）」を作り出しているだけ。
First, it provides little insight into psychological phenomena. Often the discoveries amount to finding stronger activation in some area of the brain when a psychological phenomenon occurs. As if it is news that the brain is not dormant during psychological activity! The reported neuroscience is often descriptive rather than explanatory.
Second, brains-in-love talk conflates levels of explanation. Neurobabble piques interest in science, but obscures how science works. Individuals see, know, and want to make love. Brains don’t. Those things are psychological — not, in any evident way, neural. Brain activity is necessary for psychological phenomena, but its relation to them is complex.
Explanations of neural phenomena are not themselves explanations of psychological phenomena. Some expect the neural level to replace the psychological level. This expectation is as naive as expecting a single cure for cancer. Science is almost never so simple.
The third thing wrong with neurobabble is that it has pernicious feedback effects on science itself. Too much immature science has received massive funding, on the assumption that it illuminates psychology. The idea that the neural can replace the psychological is the same idea that led to thinking that all psychological ills can be cured with drugs.
「心理学的」なるものとは何かという問い。「表象の科学（ a science of representation）」としての心理学。先ず「表象（representation）」の「包括的用法」――有機体（組織）と環境との相関関係；
Neurobabble’s popularity stems partly from the view that psychology’s explanations are immature compared to neuroscience. Some psychology is indeed still far from rigorous. But neurobabble misses an important fact.
A powerful, distinctively psychological science matured over the last four decades. Perceptual psychology, pre-eminently vision science, should be grabbing headlines. This science is more advanced than many biological sciences, including much neuroscience. It is the first science to explain psychological processes with mathematical rigor in distinctively psychological terms. (Generative linguistics — another relatively mature psychological science — explains psychological structures better than psychological processes.)
Psychology is distinctive in being a science of representation. The term “representation” has a generic use and a more specific use that is distinctively psychological. I start with the generic use, and will return to the distinctively psychological use. States of an organism generically represent features of the environment if they function to correlate with them. A plant or bacterium generically represents the direction of light. States involved in growth or movement functionally correlate with light’s direction.
Task-focused explanations in biology and psychology often use “represent” generically, and proceed as follows. They identify a natural task for an organism. They then measure environmental properties relevant to the task, and constraints imposed by the organism’s bio-physical make-up. Next, they determine mathematically optimal performance of the task, given the environmental properties and the organism’s constraints. Finally, they develop hypotheses and test the organism’s fulfillment of the task against optimal performance.
(…) task-focused explanations that use “representation” generically are not distinctively psychological. For they apply to states of plants, bacteria, and water pumps, as well as to perception and thought.
Explanation in perceptual psychology is a sub-type of task-focused explanation. What makes it distinctively psychological is that it uses notions like representational accuracy, a specific type of correlation.
The difference between functional correlation and representational accuracy is signaled by the fact that scientific explanations of light-sensitivity in plants or bacteria invoke functional correlation, but not states capable of accuracy. Talk of accuracy would be a rhetorical afterthought. States capable of accuracy are what vision science is fundamentally about.
Why are explanations in terms of representational accuracy needed? They explain perceptual constancies. Perceptual constancies are capacities to perceive a given environmental property under many types of stimulation. You and a bird can see a stone as the same size from 6 inches or 60 yards away, even though the size of the stone’s effect on the retina differs. You and a bee can see a surface as yellow bathed in white or red light, even though the distribution of wavelengths hitting the eye differ.
Visual perception is getting the environment right — seeing it, representing it accurately. Standard explanations of neural patterns cannot explain vision because such explanations do not relate vision, or even neural patterns, to the environment. Task-focused explanations in terms of functional correlation do relate organisms’ states to the environment. But they remain too generic to explain visual perception.
Perceptual psychology explains how perceptual states that represent environmental properties are formed. It identifies psychological patterns that are learned, or coded into the perceptual system through eons of interaction with the environment. And it explains how stimulations cause individuals’ perceptual states via those patterns. Perceptions and illusions of depth, movement, size, shape, color, sound localization, and so on, are explained with mathematical rigor.
Representation, in the specific sense, and consciousness are the two primary properties that are distinctive of psychological phenomena. Consciousness is the what-it-is-like of experience. Representation is the being-about-something in perception and thought. Consciousness is introspectively more salient. Representation is scientifically better understood.
Where does mind begin? One beginning is the emergence of representational accuracy — in arthropods. (We do not know where consciousness begins.) Rigorous science of mind begins with perception, the first distinctively psychological representation. (…)
Charless C. Fowlkes, David R. Martin, and Jitendra Malik, “Local Figure-Ground Cues are Valid for Natural Images,”*3 Journal of Vision 7 (2007), 1-9.
W.S. Geisler, “Visual Perception and the Statistical Properties of Natural Scenes,”*4 Annual Review of Psychology 59 (2008), 10.1-10.26.
Stephen E. Palmer, Vision Science: Photons to Phenomenology (Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, 2002).
D. Vishwanath, A.R. Girshick, and M.S. Banks, “Why Pictures Look Right When Viewed from the Wrong Place,”*6 Nature Neuroscience (2005), 1401-1410.
D.S. Weisberg, F.C. Keil, J. Goodstein, E. Rawson, and J.R. Gray, “The Seductive Allure of Neuroscience Explanations,”*7 Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience 20 (2008), 470-477.