Connectionism and the language of thought

In an influential critique, Jerry Fodor and Zenon Pylyshyn point to the existence of a potentially devastating dilemma for connectionism (Fodor and Pylyshyn [1988]). Either connectionist models consist in mere associations of unstructured representations, or they consist in processes involving complex representations. If the former, connectionism is mere associationism, and will not be capable of accounting for very much of cognition. If the latter, then connectionist models concern only the implementation of cognitive processes, and are, therefore, not informative at the level of cognition. I shall argue that Fodor and Pylyshyn's argument is based on a crucial misunderstanding, the same misunderstanding which motivates the entire language of thought hypothesis
Keywords Connectionism  Epistemology  Knowledge  Language  Science  Fodor, J  Pylyshyn, Z
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DOI 10.1093/bjps/45.2.485
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