ELSC Seminar Series

Prof.  Arnon Levy

The Hebrew University of Jerusalem
Department Of Philosophy

What, and how, does optimality explain?

Many models in cognitive neuroscience suggest that the mind operates in optimal, or near-optimal, manner. Bayesian models, in particular, often aim to show that perception, learning, decision-making and other functions are optimal, when seen as inferences under uncertainty. But what force does optimality carry – what does the appeal to optimality explain, and when? My talk will explore this question, focusing especially on Bayesian models. I suggest that we should distinguish merely methodological from substantive appeals to optimality. Then, I discuss conditions that need to be in place for optimality-based analyses to carry explanatory weight. 

Seminar Date & Time:

March 10th, 2022
14:00 (IST)
Places still available
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Watch the seminar:

“Working memory”