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very basic questions (2)

In Uncategorized on March 4, 2010 by wenwenfan

My last post will reach 200-word limit very soon, so I post a new question here.

2. explanation/confirmation (relative to optimalit models)

When we discussed optimalit models on Tuesday, it seems that how to use the models hinges on the explanation/confirmation distinction. I  get confused about this distinction. What purpose does it serve? (Is it relevant to the explanation/prediction ditinction?)

Collin says that optimality models involve two steps, one is about the equilibrium that represents the input and output and the other is about why/how the input becomes the output (?). I really need someone to explain to me about those steps.

If optimality models are just about the equilibrium, why do we need the second step? How does the explanation/confirmation distinction tie in? How do we know whether an optimalit model is good or not? Can it be used for testing adaptationism (like Sober thinks) or not (like Brandom thinks)? 

Thanks!

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