Critique of structural analysis in modeling cognition: A case study of Jackendoff's theory

Philosophical Psychology 2 (3):283 – 296 (1989)
Modeling cognition by structural analysis of representation leads to systematic difficulties which are not resolvable. We analyse the merits and limits of a representation-based methodology to modeling cognition by treating Jackendoff's Consciousness and the Computational Mind as a good case study. We note the effects this choice of methodology has on the view of consciousness he proposes, as well as a more detailed consideration of the computational mind. The fundamental difficulty we identify is the conflict between the desire for modular processors which map directly onto representations and the need for dynamically interacting control. Our analysis of this approach to modeling cognition is primarily directed at separating merits from problems and inconsistencies by a critique internal to this approach; we also step outside the framework to note the issues it ignores.
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