Some myths of connectionism

Since the emergence of what Fodor and Pylyshyn (1988) call 'new connectionism', there can be little doubt that connectionist research has become a significant topic for discussion in the Philosophy of Cognitive Science and the Philosophy of Mind. In addition to the numerous papers on the topic in philosophical journals, almost every recent book in these areas contain at least a brief reference to, or discussion of, the issues raised by connectionist research (see Sterelny 1990, Searle, 1992, and O Nualláin, 1995, for example). Other texts have focused almost exclusively upon connectionist issues (see Clark, 1993, Bechtel and Abrahamsen, 1991 and Lloyd, 1989, for example). Regrettably the discussions of connectionism found in the philosophical literature suffer from a number of deficiencies. My purpose in this paper is to highlight one particular problem and attempt to take a few steps to remedy the situation
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