Distinctions without differences: Commentary on Horgan and Tienson's connectionism and the philosophy of psychology

Philosophical Psychology 10 (3):373 – 384 (1997)
Horgan and Tienson do a wonderful job of explicating the dynamical system perspective and contrasting that view with classical AI approaches. However, their arguments for replacing a classical conception of connectionism with system dynamics rely on philosophical distinctions that do not make a difference. In particular, (1) their generalized version of Man's three levels of analysis collapses into itself; (2) their description of attractor dynamics works better than their metaphor of forces; and (3) their versions of “soft laws” and physical laws amount to the same thing.
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