Connectionism, modularity and tacit knowledge

British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 40 (December):541-55 (1989)
Abstract
In this paper, I define tacit knowledge as a kind of causal-explanatory structure, mirroring the derivational structure in the theory that is tacitly known. On this definition, tacit knowledge does not have to be explicitly represented. I then take the notion of a modular theory, and project the idea of modularity to several different levels of description: in particular, to the processing level and the neurophysiological level. The fundamental description of a connectionist network lies at a level between the processing level and the physiological level. At this level, connectionism involves a characteristic departure from modularity, and a correlative absence of syntactic structure. This is linked to the fact that tacit knowledge descriptions of networks are only approximately true. A consequence is that strict causal systematicity in cognitive processes poses a problem for the connectionist programme
Keywords Connectionism  Language  Modularity  Syntax  Tacit Knowledge
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