Levels of description and explanation in cognitive science

Minds and Machines 4 (1):1-25 (1994)
  The notion of levels has been widely used in discussions of cognitive science, especially in discussions of the relation of connectionism to symbolic modeling of cognition. I argue that many of the notions of levels employed are problematic for this purpose, and develop an alternative notion grounded in the framework of mechanistic explanation. By considering the source of the analogies underlying both symbolic modeling and connectionist modeling, I argue that neither is likely to provide an adequate analysis of processes at the level at which cognitive theories attempt to function: One is drawn from too low a level, the other from too high a level. If there is a distinctly cognitive level, then we still need to determine what are the basic organizational principles at that level
Keywords Cognitive Science  Connectionism  Mechanism  Psychology  Science
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DOI 10.1007/BF00974201
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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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Citations of this work BETA
William Bechtel (2005). Explanation: A Mechanist Alternative. Studies in History and Philosophy of Biol and Biomed Sci 36 (2):421--441.
Howard Rachlin (1995). The Elusive Quale. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 18 (4):692.

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