Beyond the exclusively propositional era

Synthese 82 (2):223-53 (1990)
  Contemporary epistemology has assumed that knowledge is represented in sentences or propositions. However, a variety of extensions and alternatives to this view have been proposed in other areas of investigation. We review some of these proposals, focusing on (1) Ryle's notion of knowing how and Hanson's and Kuhn's accounts of theory-laden perception in science; (2) extensions of simple propositional representations in cognitive models and artificial intelligence; (3) the debate concerning imagistic versus propositional representations in cognitive psychology; (4) recent treatments of concepts and categorization which reject the notion of necessary and sufficient conditions; and (5) parallel distributed processing (connectionist) models of cognition. This last development is especially promising in providing a flexible, powerful means of representing information nonpropositionally, and carrying out at least simple forms of inference without rules. Central to several of the proposals is the notion that much of human cognition might consist in pattern recognition rather than manipulation of rules and propositions
Keywords Concept  Connectionism  Epistemology  Knowledge  Propositional Function
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DOI 10.1007/BF00413663
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