Controversies and Future Directions
Although a structural stance can produce significant advances in our understanding of cognitive systems, functionless tinkering often leads to directionless research or to theoretical frameworks designed to explain tasks rather than psychological processes (Nairne, 2005; Klein et al., 2002). As William James once said, it is difficult to understand a house by focusing on its bricks and mortar—one needs to know what the house is for, what the house is designed to do, and it is only in this functional context that bricks and mortar make sense. Identifying the adaptive problems that our memory systems evolved to solve provides just such a functional context in which structural investigations of remembering potentially make sense.
Oxford Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.
If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.