Carl F. Craver

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Not all models are explanatory. Some models are data summaries. Some models sketch explanations but leave crucial details unspecified or hidden behind filler terms. Some models are used to conjecture a how-possibly explanation without regard to whether it is a how-actually explanation. I use the Hodgkin and Huxley model of the action potential to illustrate(More)
We argue that intelligible appeals to interlevel causes (top-down and bottom-up) can be understood, without remainder, as appeals to mechanistically mediated effects. Mechanistically mediated effects are hybrids of causal and constitutive relations, where the causal relations are exclusively intralevel. The idea of causation would have to stretch to the(More)
Philosophers of neuroscience have traditionally described interfield integration using reduction models. Such models describe formal inferential relations between theories at different levels. I argue against reduction and for a mechanistic model of interfield integration. According to the mechanistic model, different fields integrate their research by(More)
This essay explores four answers to the question 'What kinds of things are psychiatric disorders?' Essentialist kinds are classes whose members share an essence from which their defining features arise. Although elegant and appropriate for some physical (e.g. atomic elements) and medical (e.g. Mendelian disorders) phenomena, this model is inappropriate for(More)
Deficits in episodic memory are associated with deficits in the ability to imagine future experiences (i.e., mental time travel). We show that K.C., a person with episodic amnesia and an inability to imagine future experiences, nonetheless systematically discounts the value of future rewards, and his discounting is within the range of controls in terms of(More)
We sketch a framework for building a unified science of cognition. This unification is achieved by showing how functional analyses of cognitive capacities can be integrated with the multilevel mechanistic explanations of neural systems. The core idea is that functional analyses are sketches of mechanisms, in which some structural aspects of a mechanistic(More)
Hodgkin and Huxley’s model of the action potential is an apparent dream case of covering-law explanation in biology. The model includes laws of physics and chemistry that, coupled with details about antecedent and background conditions, can be used to derive features of the action potential. Hodgkin and Huxley insist that their model is not an explanation.(More)
Recollecting past experiences and imagining future experiences activate a common set of brain regions that includes the hippocampus (Schacter, Addis, & Buckner, 2007), and both functions are impaired in people with compromised hippocampal function (Klein, Loftus, & Kihlstrom, 2002; Tulving, 1985). These findings indicate a role for the hippocampus that(More)