The Nature of Explanation
In his brilliant and tragically brief career, Kenneth Craik anticipated certain ideas which since his death in 1945 have found wide acceptance. As one of the first to realise that machines share with the brain certain principles of functioning, Craik was a pioneer in the development of physiological psychology and cybernetics. Craik published only one complete work of any length, this essay on The Nature of Explanation. Here he considers thought as a term for the conscious working of a highly complex machine, viewing the brain as a calculating machine which can model or parallel external events, a process that is the basic feature of thought and explanation. He applies this view to a number of psychological and philosophical problems (such as paradox and illusion) and suggests possible experiments to test his theory. This book is of interest to those concerned with the concepts of brain and mind.
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Relational and descriptive theories
Hypothesis on the nature of thought
Methods of testing this hypothesis
analogy anomalies appears argument assert atoms behaviour brain calculating machine causal interaction causes colour combination concepts conjunctions consciousness consistent definite differential analyser differentiation difficulty electrons energy existence experience experimental explanation external world fact feeling fundamental give hylozoistic hypostatisation hypothesis idea images implication instance introspection involved kind kinetic energy language logical logical positivism logical positivists meaning meaningless mechanism mechanistic method mind naive realism nature nervous system neural patterns objective validity observation occur organisation paradoxes particular perception perhaps phenomena phenomenalist phenomenon philosophical physicists physiological position positive sciences possible postulates precise predict principle priorism problems processes proof properties propositions psychological Pythagoras's theorem reality reason recognition reification relation represent result retina scepticism seems sense-data sense-organs sensory similar space stimulation suggested surely symbolisation symbolism synapses synthetic propositions T. H. Huxley theory of probability things thought tion ultimate visual cortex words