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Concepts and stereotypes

Cognition 15 (1-3):237-62 (1983)

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  1. Intentionality, Mind and Folk Psychology.Winand H. Dittrich & Stephen E. G. Lea - 1993 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 16 (1):39-41.
    The comment addresses central issues of a "theory theory" approach as exemplified in Gopnik' and Goldman's BBS-articles. Gopnik, on the one hand, tries to demonstrate that empirical evidence from developmental psychology supports the view of a "theory theory" in which common sense beliefs are constructed to explain ourselves and others. Focusing the informational processing routes possibly involved we would like to argue that his main thesis (e.g. idea of intentionality as a cognitive construct) lacks support at least for two reasons: (...)
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  • What Are Natural Concepts? A Design Perspective.Igor Douven & Peter Gärdenfors - 2019 - Mind and Language (3):313-334.
    Conceptual spaces have become an increasingly popular modeling tool in cognitive psychology. The core idea of the conceptual spaces approach is that concepts can be represented as regions in similarity spaces. While it is generally acknowledged that not every region in such a space represents a natural concept, it is still an open question what distinguishes those regions that represent natural concepts from those that do not. The central claim of this paper is that natural concepts are represented by the (...)
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  • Précis of Doing Without Concepts.Edouard Machery - 2010 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 33 (2-3):195-206.
    Although cognitive scientists have learned a lot about concepts, their findings have yet to be organized in a coherent theoretical framework. In addition, after twenty years of controversy, there is little sign that philosophers and psychologists are converging toward an agreement about the very nature of concepts.Doing without Concepts attempts to remedy this state of affairs. In this article, I review the main points and arguments developed at greater length inDoing without Concepts.
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  • Moral Philosophy and Mental Representation.Stephen Stich - 1993 - In R. Michod, L. Nadel & M. Hechter (eds.), The Origin of Values. Aldine de Gruyer. pp. 215--228.
    Here is an overview of what is to come. In Sections I and II, I will sketch two of the projects frequently pursued by moral philosophers, and the methods typically invoked in those projects. I will argue that these projects presuppose (or at least suggest) a particular sort of account of the mental representation of human value systems, since the methods make sense only if we assume a certain kind of story about how the human mind stores information about values. (...)
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  • The Structure of Bias.Gabbrielle M. Johnson - forthcoming - Mind:fzaa011.
    What is a bias? Standard philosophical views of both implicit and explicit bias focus this question on the representations one harbours, for example, stereotypes or implicit attitudes, rather than the ways in which those representations are manipulated. I call this approach representationalism. In this paper, I argue that representationalism taken as a general theory of psychological social bias is a mistake, because it conceptualizes bias in ways that do not fully capture the phenomenon. Crucially, this view fails to capture a (...)
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  • Why Theories of Concepts Should Not Ignore the Problem of Acquisition.Susan Carey - 2015 - Disputatio 7 (41):113-163.
    Why Theories of Concepts Should Not Ignore the Problem of Acquisition.
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  • Counterfactuals as Strict Conditionals.Andrea Iacona - 2015 - Disputatio 7 (41):165-191.
    This paper defends the thesis that counterfactuals are strict conditionals. Its purpose is to show that there is a coherent view according to which counterfactuals are strict conditionals whose antecedent is stated elliptically. Section 1 introduces the view. Section 2 outlines a response to the main argument against the thesis that counterfactuals are strict conditionals. Section 3 compares the view with a proposal due to Aqvist, which may be regarded as its direct predecessor. Sections 4 and 5 explain how the (...)
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  • On the Proper Treatment of Connectionism.Paul Smolensky - 1988 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 11 (1):1-23.
    A set of hypotheses is formulated for a connectionist approach to cognitive modeling. These hypotheses are shown to be incompatible with the hypotheses underlying traditional cognitive models. The connectionist models considered are massively parallel numerical computational systems that are a kind of continuous dynamical system. The numerical variables in the system correspond semantically to fine-grained features below the level of the concepts consciously used to describe the task domain. The level of analysis is intermediate between those of symbolic cognitive models (...)
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  • Putting Together Connectionism – Again.Paul Smolensky - 1988 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 11 (1):59-74.
    A set of hypotheses is formulated for a connectionist approach to cognitive modeling. These hypotheses are shown to be incompatible with the hypotheses underlying traditional cognitive models. The connectionist models considered are massively parallel numerical computational systems that are a kind of continuous dynamical system. The numerical variables in the system correspond semantically to fine-grained features below the level of the concepts consciously used to describe the task domain. The level of analysis is intermediate between those of symbolic cognitive models (...)
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  • The Benefits of Prototypes: The Case of Medical Concepts.Cristina Amoretti, Marcello Frixione & Antonio Lieto - 2017 - Reti, Saperi E Linguaggi, The Italian Journal of Cognitive Sciences, 2017 3.
    In the present paper, we shall discuss the notion of prototype and show its benefits. First, we shall argue that the prototypes of common-sense concepts are necessary for making prompt and reliable categorisations and inferences. However, the features constituting the prototype of a particular concept are neither necessary nor sufficient conditions for determining category membership; in this sense, the prototype might lead to conclusions regarded as wrong from a theoretical perspective. That being said, the prototype remains essential to handling most (...)
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  • Meaning, Modulation, and Context: A Multidimensional Semantics for Truth-Conditional Pragmatics.Guillermo Del Pinal - 2018 - Linguistics and Philosophy 41 (2):165-207.
    The meaning that expressions take on particular occasions often depends on the context in ways which seem to transcend its direct effect on context-sensitive parameters. ‘Truth-conditional pragmatics’ is the project of trying to model such semantic flexibility within a compositional truth-conditional framework. Most proposals proceed by radically ‘freeing up’ the compositional operations of language. I argue, however, that the resulting theories are too unconstrained, and predict flexibility in cases where it is not observed. These accounts fall into this position because (...)
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  • Thinking Off Your Feet: How Empirical Psychology Vindicates Armchair Philosophy, by Michael Strevens.Wesley Buckwalter - forthcoming - Mind:fzz072.
    Thinking Off Your Feet: How Empirical Psychology Vindicates Armchair Philosophy, by Michael Strevens. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2019. Pp. xii + 345.
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  • Incomplete Understanding of Concepts: The Case of the Derivative.Sheldon R. Smith - 2015 - Mind 124 (496):1163-1199.
    Many philosophers have discussed the ability of thinkers to think thoughts that the thinker cannot justify because the thoughts involve concepts that the thinker incompletely understands. A standard example of this phenomenon involves the concept of the derivative in the early days of the calculus: Newton and Leibniz incompletely understood the derivative concept and, hence, as Berkeley noted, they could not justify their thoughts involving it. Later, Weierstrass justified their thoughts by giving a correct explication of the derivative concept. This (...)
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  • Making Ranking Theory Useful for Psychology of Reasoning.Niels Skovgaard Olsen - 2014 - Dissertation, University of Konstanz
    An organizing theme of the dissertation is the issue of how to make philosophical theories useful for scientific purposes. An argument for the contention is presented that it doesn’t suffice merely to theoretically motivate one’s theories, and make them compatible with existing data, but that philosophers having this aim should ideally contribute to identifying unique and hard to vary predictions of their theories. This methodological recommendation is applied to the ranking-theoretic approach to conditionals, which emphasizes the epistemic relevance and the (...)
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  • Ontological Reflections on What There Is.Matjaž Potrč & Vojko Strahovnik - 2019 - Open Journal of Philosophy 9 (2):140-151.
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  • Cognition and the Structure of Bias.Gabbrielle Johnson - 2019 - Dissertation, University of California, Los Angeles
    I argue that there exists a natural kind social bias that subsumes seemingly heterogenous cases of implicit bias and other forms of social cognition. I explore the implications of this explicated notion of bias for the organization of the mind, theories of consciousness, and the system-dependence of biases.
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  • Analytic, A Priori, False - And Maybe Non-Conceptual.Georges Rey - 2014 - European Journal of Analytic Philosophy 10 (2):85-110.
    I argue that there are analytic claims that, if true, can be known a priori, but which also can turn out to be false: they are expressive of merely default instructions from the language faculty to the conceptual system, which may be overridden by pragmatic or scientific considerations, in which case, of course, they would not be known at all, a priori or otherwise. More surprisingly, I also argue that they might not be, strictly speaking, conceptual: concepts may be importantly (...)
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  • Innateness.Steven Gross & Georges Rey - forthcoming - In Eric Margolis, Richard Samuels & Stephen Stich (eds.), Oxford Handbook of Philosophy of Cognitive Science. Oxford University Press.
    A survey of innateness in cognitive science, focusing on (1) what innateness might be, and (2) whether concepts might be innate.
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  • Art Concept Pluralism.Christy Mag Uidhir & P. D. Magnus - 2011 - Metaphilosophy 42 (1-2):83-97.
    Abstract: There is a long tradition of trying to analyze art either by providing a definition (essentialism) or by tracing its contours as an indefinable, open concept (anti-essentialism). Both art essentialists and art anti-essentialists share an implicit assumption of art concept monism. This article argues that this assumption is a mistake. Species concept pluralism—a well-explored position in philosophy of biology—provides a model for art concept pluralism. The article explores the conditions under which concept pluralism is appropriate, and argues that they (...)
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  • Dual Content Semantics, Privative Adjectives and Dynamic Compositionality.Guillermo Del Pinal - 2015 - Semantics and Pragmatics 8 (7):1-53.
    This paper defends the view that common nouns have a dual semantic structure that includes extension-determining and non-extension-determining components. I argue that the non-extension-determining components are part of linguistic meaning because they play a key compositional role in certain constructions, especially in privative noun phrases such as "fake gun" and "counterfeit document". Furthermore, I show that if we modify the compositional interpretation rules in certain simple ways, this dual content account of noun phrase modification can be implemented in a type-driven (...)
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  • Concepts and Nativism.Nicholas Adamson - unknown
    Jerry Fodor has argued that virtually all lexical concepts are innate. I argue against this position, but not, as other have done, on the grounds that the arguments against lexical decomposition upon which Fodor relies are flawed. Rather, I argue that even if lexical concepts cannot be decomposed, the possession conditions for having lexical concepts are nonetheless not innately satisfied.
     
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  • An Essentialist Theory of the Meaning of Slurs.Eleonore Neufeld - 2019 - Philosophers' Imprint 19.
    In this paper, I develop an essentialist model of the semantics of slurs. I defend the view that slurs are a species of kind terms: Slur concepts encode mini-theories which represent an essence-like element that is causally connected to a set of negatively-valenced stereotypical features of a social group. The truth-conditional contribution of slur nouns can then be captured by the following schema: For a given slur S of a social group G and a person P, S is true of (...)
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  • Concepts and Cognitive Science.Stephen Laurence & Eric Margolis - 1999 - In Eric Margolis & Stephen Laurence (eds.), Concepts: Core Readings. MIT Press. pp. 3-81.
    Given the fundamental role that concepts play in theories of cognition, philosophers and cognitive scientists have a common interest in concepts. Nonetheless, there is a great deal of controversy regarding what kinds of things concepts are, how they are structured, and how they are acquired. This chapter offers a detailed high-level overview and critical evaluation of the main theories of concepts and their motivations. Taking into account the various challenges that each theory faces, the chapter also presents a novel approach (...)
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  • The Limits of Conceptual Analysis.Laura Schroeter - 2004 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 85 (4):425-453.
    It would be nice if good old a priori conceptual analysis were possible. For many years conceptual analysis was out of fashion, in large part because of the excessive ambitions of verificationist theories of meaning._ _However, those days are over._ _A priori conceptual analysis is once again part of the philosophical mainstream._ _This renewed popularity, moreover, is well-founded. Modern philosophical analysts have exploited developments in philosophical semantics to formulate analyses which avoid the counterintuitive consequences of verificationism, while vindicating our ability (...)
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  • Précis of Doing Without Concepts.Edouard Machery - 2010 - Philosophical Studies 149 (3):602-611.
    Although cognitive scientists have learned a lot about concepts, their findings have yet to be organized in a coherent theoretical framework. In addition, after twenty years of controversy, there is little sign that philosophers and psychologists are converging toward an agreement about the very nature of concepts. Doing without Concepts (Machery 2009) attempts to remedy this state of affairs. In this article, I review the main points and arguments developed at greater length in Doing without Concepts.
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  • How to Acquire a Concept.Eric Margolis - 1998 - Mind and Language 13 (3):347-369.
    In this paper, I develop a novel account of concept acquisition for an atomistic theory of concepts. Conceptual atomism is rarely explored in cognitive science because of the feeling that atomistic treatments of concepts are inherently nativistic. My model illustrates, on the contrary, that atomism does not preclude the learning of a concept.
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  • What is Conceptual Glue?Eric Margolis - 1999 - Minds and Machines 9 (2):241-255.
    Conceptual structures are commonly likened to scientific theories, yet the content and motivation of the theory analogy are rarely discussed. Gregory Murphy and Douglas Medin's The Role of Theories in Conceptual Coherence is a notable exception and has become an authoritative exposition of the utility of the theory analogy. For Murphy and Medin, the theory analogy solves what they call the problem of conceptual coherence or the problem of conceptual glue. I argue that they conflate a number of issues under (...)
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  • A Reassessment of the Shift From the Classical Theory of Concepts to Prototype Theory.Eric Margolis - 1994 - Cognition 51 (1):73-89.
    A standard view within psychology is that there have been two important shifts in the study of concepts and that each has led to some improvements. The first shift was from the classical theory of concepts to probabilistic theories, including the prototype theory. The second shift was from probabilistic theories to theory-based theories. In this article, I critically evaluate the view that the first shift was a major advance and argue that the prototype theory suffers some of the same problems (...)
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  • How We Know Our Minds: The Illusion of First-Person Knowledge of Intentionality.Alison Gopnik - 1993 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 16 (1):1-14.
  • Abstract Concepts, Compositionality, and the Contextualism-Invariantism Debate.Guido Löhr - 2017 - Philosophical Psychology 30 (6):689-710.
    Invariantists argue that the notion of concept in psychology should be reserved for knowledge that is retrieved in a context-insensitive manner. Contextualists argue that concepts are to be understood in terms of context-sensitive ad hoc constructions. I review the central empirical evidence for and against both views and show that their conclusions are based on a common mischaracterization of both theories. When the difference between contextualism and invariantism is properly understood, it becomes apparent that the way the question of stability (...)
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  • Is Moral Internalism Supported by Folk Intuitions?Caj Strandberg & Fredrik Björklund - 2013 - Philosophical Psychology 26 (3):319-335.
    In the metaethical debate on moral internalism and externalism, appeal is constantly made to people’s intuitions about the connection between moral judgments and motivation. However, internalists and externalists disagree considerably about their content. In this paper, we present an empirical study of laymen’s intuitions about this connection. We found that they lend surprisingly little support to the most celebrated versions of internalism, which provide reasons to be skeptical of the evidential basis for these views.
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  • Possessing Moral Concepts.David Merli - 2009 - Philosophia 37 (3):535-556.
    Moral discourse allows for speakers to disagree in many ways: about right and wrong acts, about moral theory, about the rational and conative significance of moral failings. Yet speakers’ eccentricities do not prevent them from engaging in moral conversation or from having (genuine, not equivocal) moral disagreement. Thus differences between speakers are compatible with possession of moral concepts. This paper examines various kinds of moral disagreements and argues that they provide evidence against conceptual-role and informational atomist approaches to understanding our (...)
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  • Concepts: Stored or Created?Marco Mazzone & Elisabetta Lalumera - 2010 - Minds and Machines 20 (1):47-68.
    Are concepts stable entities, unchanged from context to context? Or rather are they context-dependent structures, created on the fly? We argue that this does not constitute a genuine dilemma. Our main thesis is that the more a pattern of features is general and shared, the more it qualifies as a concept. Contextualists have not shown that conceptual structures lack a stable, general core, acting as an attractor on idiosyncratic information. What they have done instead is to give a contribution to (...)
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  • A Non-Compositional Inferential Role Theory.Martin Montminy - 2005 - Erkenntnis 62 (2):211-233.
    I propose a version of inferential role theory which says that having a concept is having the disposition to draw most of the inferences based on the stereotypical features associated with this concept. I defend this view against Fodor and Lepore.
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  • Theories of Natural Kind Term Reference and Empirical Psychology.Jussi Wiljami Jylkkä - 2008 - Philosophical Studies 139 (2):153-169.
    In this paper, I argue that the causal and description theories of natural kind term reference involve certain psychological elements. My main goal is to refine these theories with the help of empirical psychology of concepts, and to argue that the refinement process ultimately leads to the dissolution of boundaries between the two kinds of theories. However, neither the refined theories nor any other existing theories provide an adequate answer to the question of what makes natural kind terms rigid. To (...)
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  • Prototypes and Conceptual Analysis.William Ramsey - 1992 - Topoi 11 (1):59-70.
    In this paper, I explore the implications of recent empirical research on concept representation for the philosophical enterprise of conceptual analysis. I argue that conceptual analysis, as it is commonly practiced, is committed to certain assumptions about the nature of our intuitive categorization judgments. I then try to show how these assumptions clash with contemporary accounts of concept representation in cognitive psychology. After entertaining an objection to my argument, I close by considering ways in which conceptual analysis might be altered (...)
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  • The Structure of Lexical Concepts.Ken Daley - 2010 - Philosophical Studies 150 (3):349 - 372.
    Jerry Fodor (Concepts: Where cognitive science went wrong. New York: Oxford University Press, 1998) famously argued that lexical concepts are unstructured. After examining the advantages and disadvantages of both the classical approach to concepts and Fodor's conceptual atomism, I argue that some lexical concepts are, in fact, structured. Roughly stated, I argue that structured lexical concepts bear a necessary biconditional entailment relation to their structural constituents. I develop this account of the structure of lexical concepts within the framework of Pavel (...)
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  • Meaning, Prototypes and the Future of Cognitive Science.Jaap van Brakel - 1991 - Minds and Machines 1 (3):233-57.
    In this paper I evaluate the soundness of the prototype paradigm, in particular its basic assumption that there are pan-human psychological essences or core meanings that refer to basic-level natural kinds, explaining why, on the whole, human communication and learning are successful. Instead I argue that there are no particular pan-human basic elements for thought, meaning and cognition, neither prototypes, nor otherwise. To illuminate my view I draw on examples from anthropology. More generally I argue that the prototype paradigm exemplifies (...)
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  • Reflective Equilibrium, Analytic Epistemology and the Problem of Cognitive Diversity.Stephen Stich - 1988 - Synthese 74 (3):391-413.
  • On the Mind Dependence of Truth.Diego Marconi - 2006 - Erkenntnis 65 (3):301 - 318.
    The claim that truth is mind dependent has some initial plausibility only if truth bearers are taken to be mind dependent entities such as beliefs or statements. Even on that assumption, however, the claim is not uncontroversial. If it is spelled out as the thesis that “in a world devoid of mind nothing would be true”, then everything depends on how the phrase ‘true in world w’ is interpreted. If ‘A is true in w’ is interpreted as ‘A is true (...)
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  • Embodied Cognition and Abstract Concepts: Do Concept Empiricists Leave Anything Out?Guido Löhr - 2019 - Philosophical Psychology 32 (2):161-185.
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  • Stereotypes, Conceptual Centrality and Gender Bias: An Empirical Investigation.Guillermo Del Pinal, Alex Madva & Kevin Reuter - 2017 - Ratio 30 (4):384-410.
    Discussions in social psychology overlook an important way in which biases can be encoded in conceptual representations. Most accounts of implicit bias focus on ‘mere associations’ between features and representations of social groups. While some have argued that some implicit biases must have a richer conceptual structure, they have said little about what this richer structure might be. To address this lacuna, we build on research in philosophy and cognitive science demonstrating that concepts represent dependency relations between features. These relations, (...)
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  • Psychological Essentialism and Semantic Externalism Evidence for Externalism in Lay Speakers' Language Use.Jussi Jylkka, Henry Railo & Jussi Haukioja - 2008 - Proceedings of the Xxii World Congress of Philosophy 39 (1):105-110.
    Some experimental studies have recently claimed to undermine semantic externalism about natural kind terms. However, it is unclear how philosophical accounts of reference can be experimentally tested. We present two externalistic adaptations of psychological placeholder essentialism, a strict externalist and a hybrid externalist view, which are experimentally testable. We examine Braisby’s et al. (1996) study which claims to undermine externalism, and argue that the study fails in its aims. We conducted two experiments, the results of which undermine internalism and the (...)
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  • The Reality of the Symbolic and Subsymbolic Systems.Andrew Woodfield & Adam Morton - 1988 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 11 (1):58-58.
  • Has the Case Been Made Against the Ecumenical View of Connectionism?Robert Van Gulick - 1988 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 11 (1):57-58.
  • The Essential Opacity of Modular Systems: Why Even Connectionism Cannot Give Complete Formal Accounts of Cognition.Marten J. den Uyl - 1988 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 11 (1):56-57.
  • On the Proper Treatment of Thermostats.David S. Touretzky - 1988 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 11 (1):55-56.
    A set of hypotheses is formulated for a connectionist approach to cognitive modeling. These hypotheses are shown to be incompatible with the hypotheses underlying traditional cognitive models. The connectionist models considered are massively parallel numerical computational systems that are a kind of continuous dynamical system. The numerical variables in the system correspond semantically to fine-grained features below the level of the concepts consciously used to describe the task domain. The level of analysis is intermediate between those of symbolic cognitive models (...)
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  • From Data to Dynamics: The Use of Multiple Levels of Analysis.Gregory O. Stone - 1988 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 11 (1):54-55.
  • From Connectionism to Eliminativism.Stephen P. Stich - 1988 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 11 (1):53-54.
  • How Fully Should Connectionism Be Activated? Two Sources of Excitation and One of Inhibition.Roger N. Shepard - 1988 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 11 (1):52-52.