The relationship between connectionist models and a dynamic data-oriented theory of concept formation

Synthese 108 (3):421 - 454 (1996)
Abstract
In this paper I shall compare two models of concept formation, both inspired by basic convictions of philosophical empiricism. The first, the connectionist model, will be exemplified by Kohonen maps, and the second will be my own dynamic theory of concept formation. Both can be understood in probabilistic terms, both use a notion of convergence or stabilization in modelling how concepts are built up. Both admit destabilization of concepts and conceptual change. Both do not use a notion of representation in some pregiven language, such as a language of thought or some logical language. Representation in a formal language only plays a role on the meta-level, namely within the theory about concept formation.
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