On the spuriousness of the symbolic/subsymbolic distinction

Minds and Machines 3 (3):253-70 (1993)
  The article criticises the attempt to establish connectionism as an alternative theory of human cognitive architecture through the introduction of thesymbolic/subsymbolic distinction (Smolensky, 1988). The reasons for the introduction of this distinction are discussed and found to be unconvincing. It is shown that thebrittleness problem has been solved for a large class ofsymbolic learning systems, e.g. the class oftop-down induction of decision-trees (TDIDT) learning systems. Also, the process of articulating expert knowledge in rules seems quite practical for many important domains, including common sense knowledge.The article discusses several experimental comparisons betweenTDIDT systems and artificial neural networks using the error backpropagation algorithm (ANNs usingBP). The properties of one of theTDIDT systemsID3 (Quinlan, 1986a) are examined in detail. It is argued that the differences in performance betweenANNs usingBP andTDIDT systems reflect slightly different inductive biases but are not systematic; these differences do not support the view that symbolic and subsymbolic systems are fundamentally incompatible. It is concluded, that thesymbolic/subsymbolic distinction is spurious. It cannot establish connectionism as an alternative cognitive architecture
Keywords Artificial Intelligence  Connectionism  Metaphysics  Symbolic  Smolensky, P
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1007/BF00976281
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index
Download options
PhilPapers Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 16,661
External links
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library
References found in this work BETA
Paul Smolensky (1988). On the Proper Treatment of Connectionism. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 11 (1):1-23.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Monthly downloads

Added to index


Total downloads

25 ( #119,995 of 1,725,958 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

4 ( #167,084 of 1,725,958 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature

Start a new thread
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.