Many Protestant denominations have or recently had policies that prohibit “self-avowed practicing homosexuals” from being ordained. By only prohibiting “practicing” homosexuals, proponents of these policies claim that they do not discriminate against homosexuals as a group since, technically, a homosexual can still be ordained as long as she is “non-practicing.” In other words, a condemnation of homosexual practice is not the same as a condemnation of homosexual persons. I argue that this is not the case; the rhetoric of homosexual practice (...) does, in fact, amount to a condemnation of gays and lesbians. It does so by conflating the two things it claims to keep separate—homosexual conduct and homosexual identity. I demonstrate this conflation by analyzing the history of this rhetoric and how it has been adjudicated in church court decisions from the United Methodist Church and the Presbyterian Church (USA). (shrink)
Multi-voxel pattern recognition techniques combined with Hidden Markov models can be used to discover the mental states that people go through in performing a task. The combined method identifies both the mental states and how their durations vary with experimental conditions. We apply this method to a task where participants solve novel mathematical problems. We identify four states in the solution of these problems: Encoding, Planning, Solving, and Respond. The method allows us to interpret what participants are doing on individual (...) problem-solving trials. The duration of the planning state varies on a trial-to-trial basis with novelty of the problem. The duration of solution stage similarly varies with the amount of computation needed to produce a solution once a plan is devised. The response stage similarly varies with the complexity of the answer produced. In addition, we identified a number of effects that ran counter to a prior model of the task. Thus, we were able to decompose the overall problem-solving time into estimates of its components and in way that serves to guide theory. (shrink)
Cognitive architectures are theories of cognition that try to capture the essential representations and mechanisms that underlie cognition. Research in cognitive architectures has gradually moved from a focus on the functional capabilities of architectures to the ability to model the details of human behavior, and, more recently, brain activity. Although there are many different architectures, they share many identical or similar mechanisms, permitting possible future convergence. In judging the quality of a particular cognitive model, it is pertinent to not just (...) judge its fit to the experimental data but also its simplicity and ability to make predictions. (shrink)
'With this scheme, John Anderson joins a very distinguished line of philosophers who have presented us with a set of categories. We have first Plato (the doctrine of Highest Kinds in his dialogue The Sophist), then Aristotle, Kant, Hegel, and Samuel Alexander.' - D. M. Armstrong, from the introduction. Space, Time and the Categories presents a unique record of personal influence and inspiration over three generations of philosophers in Australia, England and Scotland. This work is a vitally important text in (...) the history of the development of realist philosophy in Australian universities. With an introduction by Emeritus Professor D M Armstrong whose own student notes are the basis for the text used, this book brings together three of the major figures in the history of Australian philosophy. (shrink)
"The question for me is how can the human mind occur in the physical universe? We now know that the world is governed by physics. We now understand the way biology nestles comfortably within that. The issue is how will the mind do that as well?" Alan Newell, 4 December 1991, Carnegie Mellon University -/- The argument John Anderson gives in this book was inspired by the passage above, from the last lecture by one of the pioneers of cognitive science. (...) Alan Newell describes what, for him, is the pivotal question of scientific inquiry, and Anderson gives an answer that is emerging from the study of brain and behaviour. -/- Humans share the same basic cognitive architecture with all primates, but they have evolved abilities to exercise abstract control over cognition and process more complex relational patterns. The human cognitive architecture consists of a set of largely independent modules associated with different brain regions. This book discusses in detail how these various modules can combine to produce behaviors as varied as driving a car and solving an algebraic equation, but focuses principally on two of the modules: the declarative and procedural. The declarative module involves a memory system that, moment by moment, attempts to give each person the most appropriate possible window into his or her past. The procedural module involves a central system that strives to develop a set of productions that will enable the most adaptive response from any state of the modules. Newell argued that the answer to his question must take the form of a cognitive architecture, and Anderson organizes his answer around the ACT-R architecture, but broadens it by bringing in research from all areas of cognitive science, including how recent work in brain imaging maps onto the cognitive architecture. (shrink)
The commentaries on our article encourage us to believe that researchers are beginning to take seriously the goal of achieving the broad adequacy that Newell aspired to. The commentators offer useful elaborations to the criteria we suggested for the Newell Test. We agree with many of the commentators that classical connectionism is too restrictive to achieve this broad adequacy, and that other connectionist approaches are not so limited and can deal with the symbolic components of thought. All these approaches, including (...) ACT-R, need to accept the idea that progress in science is a matter of better approximating these goals, and it is premature to be making judgments of true or false. (shrink)
Newell (1980; 1990) proposed that cognitive theories be developed in an effort to satisfy multiple criteria and to avoid theoretical myopia. He provided two overlapping lists of 13 criteria that the human cognitive architecture would have to satisfy in order to be functional. We have distilled these into 12 criteria: flexible behavior, real-time performance, adaptive behavior, vast knowledge base, dynamic behavior, knowledge integration, natural language, learning, development, evolution, and brain realization. There would be greater theoretical progress if we evaluated theories (...) by a broad set of criteria such as these and attended to the weaknesses such evaluations revealed. To illustrate how theories can be evaluated we apply these criteria to both classical connectionism (McClelland & Rumelhart 1986; Rumelhart & McClelland 1986b) and the ACT-R theory (Anderson & Lebiere 1998). The strengths of classical connectionism on this test derive from its intense effort in addressing empirical phenomena in such domains as language and cognitive development. Its weaknesses derive from its failure to acknowledge a symbolic level to thought. In contrast, ACT-R includes both symbolic and subsymbolic components. The strengths of the ACT-R theory derive from its tight integration of the symbolic component with the subsymbolic component. Its weaknesses largely derive from its failure, as yet, to adequately engage in intensive analyses of issues related to certain criteria on Newell's list. Key Words: cognitive architecture; connectionism; hybrid systems; language; learning; symbolic systems. (shrink)
We present an account of processing capacity in the ACT-R theory. At the symbolic level, the number of chunks in the current goal provides a measure of relational complexity. At the subsymbolic level, limits on spreading activation, measured by the attentional parameter W, provide a theory of processing capacity, which has been applied to performance, learning, and individual differences data.