Behavioral and Brain Sciences

Open Peer Commentary
van Gelder: The dynamical hypothesis

Why the dynamical hypothesis cannot qualify as a law of qualitative structure

Nick Braisby a1, Richard Cooper a2 and Bradley Franks a3
a1 Department of Psychology, London Guildhall University, London E1 7NT
a2 Department of Psychology, Birkbeck College, London WC1E 7HX
a3 Department of Psychology, London School of Economics, London WC2A 2AE, England


Van Gelder presents the dynamical hypothesis as a novel law of qualitative structure to compete with Newell and Simon's (1976) physical symbol systems hypothesis. Unlike Newell and Simon's hypothesis, the dynamical hypothesis fails to provide necessary and sufficient conditions for cognition. Furthermore, imprecision in the statement of the dynamical hypothesis renders it unfalsifiable.