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Connectionist Cognition

  • Martin Kurthen
  • Detlef B. Linke
  • Patrick Hamilton
Part of the Informatik-Fachberichte book series (INFORMATIK, volume 252)

Abstract

In an influential and provocative paper, Fodor and Pylyshyn (1988) have argued that the architecture of mind cannot be connectionist ”at the cognitive level”. Very briefly, they maintain that explanation of cognitive capacities requires a domain of complex mental representations with combinatorial syntactic and semantic structure to account for features of cognition like systematicity, compositionality and inferential coherence. Since connectionist models lack these complex representations (while still being committed, as Fodor and Pylyshyn claim, to the concept of representation as such), these models are inadequate for the explanation of cognitive skills. But (so they generously concede) connectionist models might still turn out to be — or be interpreted as — implementations of ”classical” symbol-processing accounts.

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1990

Authors and Affiliations

  • Martin Kurthen
    • 1
  • Detlef B. Linke
    • 1
  • Patrick Hamilton
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of NeurosurgeryUniversity Hospital of BonnBonn 1Germany

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