Connectionism and rules and representation systems: Are they compatible?

Philosophical Psychology 1 (1):5-16 (1988)
The introduction of connectionist or parallel distributed processing (PDP) systems to model cognitive functions has raised the question of the possible relations between these models and traditional information processing models which employ rules to manipulate representations. After presenting a brief account of PDP models and two ways in which they are commonly interpreted by those seeking to use them to explain cognitive functions, I present two ways one might relate these models to traditional information processing models and so not totally repudiate the tradition of modelling cognition through systems of rules and representations. The proposal that seems most promising is that PDP-type structures might provide the underlying framework in which a rule and representation model might be implemented. To show how one might pursue such a strategy, I discuss recent research by Barsalou on the instability of concepts and show how that might be accounted for in a system whose microstructure had a PDP architecture. I also outline how adopting a multi-leveled view of the mind, where on one level the mind employed a PDP-type system and at another level constituted a rule processing system, would allow researchers to relocate some problems which seemed difficult to explain at one level, such as the capacity for concept learning, to another level where it could be handled in a straightforward manner
Keywords Compatibility  Connectionism  Metaphysics  Philosophical Psychology  Rule
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1080/09515088808572922
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index
Download options
PhilPapers Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 24,463
External links
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

View all 15 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA
Benny Shanon (1992). Are Connectionist Models Cognitive? Philosophical Psychology 5 (3):235-255.
William Bechtel (1991). Connectionism and the Philosophy of Mind: An Overview. In Terence E. Horgan & John L. Tienson (eds.), Connectionism and the Philosophy of Mind. Kluwer Academic Publishers. pp. 30--59.

View all 10 citations / Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Monthly downloads

Added to index


Total downloads

30 ( #160,417 of 1,925,521 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

4 ( #212,137 of 1,925,521 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature

Start a new thread
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.