Grounding symbols in the analog world with neural nets a hybrid model

1.1 The predominant approach to cognitive modeling is still what has come to be called "computationalism" (Dietrich 1990, Harnad 1990b), the hypothesis that cognition is computation. The more recent rival approach is "connectionism" (Hanson & Burr 1990, McClelland & Rumelhart 1986), the hypothesis that cognition is a dynamic pattern of connections and activations in a "neural net." Are computationalism and connectionism really deeply different from one another, and if so, should they compete for cognitive hegemony, or should they collaborate? These questions will be addressed here, in the context of an obstacle that is faced by computationalism (as well as by connectionism if it is either computational or seeks cognitive hegemony on its own): The symbol grounding problem (Harnad 1990).
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