Connectionism, classical cognitivism, and the relation between cognitive and implementational levels of analysis

Philosophical Psychology 6 (3):321-33 (1993)
This paper discusses the relation between cognitive and implementational levels of analysis. Chalmers (1990, 1993) argues that a connectionist implementation of a classical cognitive architecture possesses a compositional semantics, and therefore undercuts Fodor and Pylyshyn's (1988) argument that connectionist networks cannot possess a compositional semantics. I argue that Chalmers argument misconstrues the relation between cognitive and implementational levels of analysis. This paper clarifies the distinction, and shows that while Fodor and Pylyshyn's argument survives Chalmers' critique, it cannot be used to establish the irrelevance of neurophysiological implementation to cognitive modeling; some aspects of Chater and Oaksford's (1990) response to Fodor and Pylyshyn, though not all, are therefore cogent
Keywords Cognitivism  Compositionality  Connectionism  Epistemology  Chalmers, A  Fodor, J  Pylyshyn, Z
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DOI 10.1080/09515089308573095
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Paul Smolensky (1988). On the Proper Treatment of Connectionism. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 11 (1):1-23.

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