ICANN ’93 pp 366-369 | Cite as

Connectionist’ symbol’ Systems: Cognition as the Sum of Analogy, Exemplar Manipulation and Language

  • Ronald Lemmen
Conference paper


According to the classical symbolist view, cognition is symbol manipulation. In order to be a serious rival to symbolism, connectionism has to come up with a viable alternative to symbols and symbol manipulation. My main claim is that the notion of symbol manipulation should be replaced with that of exemplar manipulation, making analogy the central subject for cognitive science. I further claim that language is needed to make the step from concrete to abstract cognition. As a result of the important role of language, our cognitive architecture can best be described as a ‘mixed system’, combining symbolic and connectionist processes.


Cognitive Architecture Object Manipulation Symbol Manipulation Classical Symbol Bantam Book 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag London Limited 1993

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ronald Lemmen
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PhilosophyUtrecht UniversityUtrechtThe Netherlands

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