Fodor and Pylyshyn on connectionism

Minds and Machines 1 (3):321-41 (1991)
Abstract
  Fodor and Pylyshyn (1988) have argued that the cognitive architecture is not Connectionist. Their argument takes the following form: (1) the cognitive architecture is Classical; (2) Classicalism and Connectionism are incompatible; (3) therefore the cognitive architecture is not Connectionist. In this essay I argue that Fodor and Pylyshyn's defenses of (1) and (2) are inadequate. Their argument for (1), based on their claim that Classicalism best explains the systematicity of cognitive capacities, is an invalid instance of inference to the best explanation. And their argument for (2) turns out to be question-begging. The upshot is that, while Fodor and Pylyshyn have presented Connectionists with the important empirical challenge of explaining systematicity, they have failed to provide sufficient reason for inferring that the cognitive architecture is Classical and not Connectionist
Keywords Architecture  Classicalism  Cognitive  Connectionism  Inference  Metaphysics  Systematicity  Fodor, J  Pylyshyn, Z
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References found in this work BETA
Paul Smolensky (1988). On the Proper Treatment of Connectionism. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 11 (1):1-23.
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