David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Ezio Di Nucci
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Croatian Journal of Philosophy 7 (3):375-402 (2007)
A lengthy debate in the philosophy of the cognitive sciences has turned on whether the phenomenon known as ‘systematicity’ of language and thought shows that connectionist explanatory aspirations are misguided. We investigate the issue of just which phenomenon ‘systematicity’ is supposed to be. The much-rehearsed examples always suggest that being systematic has something to do with ways in which some parts of expressions in natural languages (and, more conjecturally, some parts of thoughts) can be substituted for others without altering well-formedness. We show that under one construal this yields a grossly weak claim that is not just compatible with a narrow version of associationist psychology but essentially coincides with a formalization of its descriptive power. Under another construal we get a claim (apparently unintended) that requires natural languages to fall within the context-free class, a claim that most linguists regard as too strong. Looking more closely at this proposed reconstruction of systematicity leads us to endorse, with further illustrations, the suggestion of Johnson (2004) that systematicity as a matter of substitutability of co-categorial constituents for one another does not appearto hold of natural languages at all. The appeal of the ill-delineated notion of systematicity may lie in the fact that within certain subclasses of lexical items mutual intersubstitutability does seem to hold, and theexplanation for that lies in a limitation on human memory: we simply cannot learn separate privileges of syntactic distribution for all of the huge number of words and phrases that we know
|Keywords||No keywords specified (fix it)|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
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
No references found.
Citations of this work BETA
Guillermo Del Pinal (2015). The Structure of Semantic Competence: Compositionality as an Innate Constraint of The Faculty of Language. Mind and Language 30 (4):375–413.
Similar books and articles
Jürgen Schröder (1998). Knowledge of Rules, Causal Systematicity, and the Language of Thought. Synthese 117 (3):313 - 330.
Robert C. Cummins, James Blackmon & David Byrd (2005). What Systematicity Isn't. Journal of Philosophical Research 30:405-408.
Robert Cummins, James Blackmon, David Byrd, Pierre Poirier, Martin Roth & Georg Schwarz (2001). Systematicity and the Cognition of Structured Domains. Journal of Philosophy 98 (4):167 - 185.
Wayne A. Davis (2005). On Begging the Systematicity Question. Journal of Philosophical Research 30:399-404.
Brian P. McLaughlin (2009). Systematicity Redux. Synthese 170 (2):251 - 274.
James Blackmon, David Byrd, Robert C. Cummins, Pierre Poirier, Martin Roth & George Schwarz (2001). Systematicity and the Cognition of Structured Domains. Journal of Philosophy 98 (4):1-19.
Andrew Chignell (2006). Beauty as a Symbol of Natural Systematicity. British Journal of Aesthetics 46 (4):406-415.
S. Phillips (1998). Are Feedforward and Recurrent Networks Systematic? Analysis and Implications for a Connectionist Cognitive Architecture. Philosophical Explorations.
Robert F. Hadley (1994). Systematicity in Connectionist Language Learning. Mind and Language 9 (3):247-72.
Robert F. Hadley & M. B. Hayward (1997). Strong Semantic Systematicity From Hebbian Connectionist Learning. Minds and Machines 7 (1):1-55.
William P. Bechtel (1994). Natural Deduction in Connectionist Systems. Synthese 101 (3):433-463.
Kent Johnson (2004). On the Systematicity of Language and Thought. Journal of Philosophy 101 (3):111-139.
Tim van Gelder & Lars Niclasson (1994). Classicalism and Cognitive Architecture. In Ashwin Ram & Kurt Eiselt (eds.), Proceedings of the Sixteenth Annual Conference of the Cognitive Science Society. Erlbaum
Added to index2011-01-09
Total downloads17 ( #216,714 of 1,907,041 )
Recent downloads (6 months)3 ( #277,075 of 1,907,041 )
How can I increase my downloads?