Classical and Connectionist Models

Dissertation, MIT (1991)
Much of the philosophical interest of cognitive science stems from its potential relevance to the mind/body problem. The mind/body problem concerns whether both mental and physical phenomena exist, and if so, whether they are distinct. In this chapter I want to portray the classical and connectionist frameworks in cognitive science as potential sources of evidence for or against a particular strategy for solving the mind/body problem. It is not my aim to offer a full assessment of these two frameworks in this capacity. Instead, in this thesis I will deal with three philosophical issues which are (at best) preliminaries to such an assessment: issues about the syntax, the semantics, and the processing of the mental representations countenanced by classical and connectionist models. I will characterize these three issues in more detail at the end of the chapter
Keywords Cognition  Connectionism  Language  Model  Semantics
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