Connectionism and compositionality: Why Fodor and Pylyshyn were wrong

Philosophical Psychology 6 (3):305-319 (1993)
Abstract
This paper offers both a theoretical and an experimental perspective on the relationship between connectionist and Classical (symbol-processing) models. Firstly, a serious flaw in Fodor and Pylyshyn’s argument against connectionism is pointed out: if, in fact, a part of their argument is valid, then it establishes a conclusion quite different from that which they intend, a conclusion which is demonstrably false. The source of this flaw is traced to an underestimation of the differences between localist and distributed representation. It has been claimed that distributed representations cannot support systematic operations, or that if they can, then they will be mere implementations of traditional ideas. This paper presents experimental evidence against this conclusion: distributed representations can be used to support direct structure-sensitive operations, in a man- ner quite unlike the Classical approach. Finally, it is argued that even if Fodor and Pylyshyn’s argument that connectionist models of compositionality must be mere implementations were correct, then this would still not be a serious argument against connectionism as a theory of mind.
Keywords Cognitivism  Compositionality  Connectionism  Epistemology  Fodor, J  Pylyshyn, Z
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1080/09515089308573094
Options
 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
Our Archive


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 29,440
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
Microcognition.Andy Clark - 1989 - MIT Press.
Settling Into a New Paradigm.Terence E. Horgan & John L. Tienson - 1987 - Southern Journal of Philosophy Supplement 26 (S1):97-113.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA
A Non-Representational Approach to Imagined Action.I. van Rooij - 2002 - Cognitive Science 26 (3):345-375.

View all 10 citations / Add more citations

Similar books and articles
Added to PP index
2009-01-28

Total downloads
378 ( #7,248 of 2,180,202 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
9 ( #26,285 of 2,180,202 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Monthly downloads
My notes
Sign in to use this feature


Discussion
Order:
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.

Other forums