Behavioral and Brain Sciences

Open Peer Commentary
van Gelder: The dynamical hypothesis

Framing the debate between computational and dynamical approaches to cognitive science

Randall D. Beer a1
a1 Department of Computer Engineering and Science and Department of Biology, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, OH 44106


van Gelder argues that computational and dynamical systems are mathematically distinct kinds of systems. Although there are real experimental and theoretical differences between adopting a computational or dynamical perspective on cognition, and the dynamical approach has much to recommend it, the debate cannot be framed this rigorously. Instead, what is needed is careful study of concrete models to improve our intuitions.