Representational development need not be explicable-by-content

In Vincent C. Mueller (ed.), Fundamental Issues of Artificial Intelligence. Springer: Sythese Library (2016)
Authors
Nicholas Shea
School of Advanced Study, University of London
Abstract
Fodor’s radical concept nativism flowed from his view that hypothesis testing is the only route to concept acquisition. Many have successfully objected to the overly-narrow restriction to learning by hypothesis testing. Existing representations can be connected to a new representational vehicle so as to constitute a sustaining mechanism for a new representation, without the new representation thereby being constituted by or structured out of the old. This paper argues that there is also a deeper objection. Connectionism shows that a more fundamental assumption underpinning the debate can also be rejected: the assumption that the development of a new representation must be explained in content-involving terms if innateness is to be avoided. Fodor has argued that connectionism offers no new resources to explain concept acquisition: unless it is merely an uninteresting claim about neural implementation, connectionism’s defining commitment to distributed representations reduces to the claim that some representations are structured out of others (which is the old, problematic research programme). Examination of examples of representational development in connectionist networks shows, however, that some such models explain the development of new representational capacities in non-representational terms. They illustrate the possibility of representational development that is not explicable-by-content. Connectionist representations can be distributed in an important sense, which is incompatible with the assumption of explanation-by-content: they can be distributed over non-representational resources that account for their development. Rejecting the assumption of explanation-by-content thereby opens up a more radical way of rejecting Fodor’s argument for radical concept nativism.
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
Reprint years 2016
Options
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

Our Archive


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 35,445
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

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Representation in Cognitive Science.Nicholas Shea - 2018 - Oxford University Press.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Acquiring a New Concept is Not Explicable-by-Content.Nicholas Shea - 2011 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 34 (3):148 - 149.
Expression in the Representational Arts.Catharine Abell - 2013 - American Philosophical Quarterly 50 (1):23-36.
Naturalising Representational Content.Nicholas Shea - 2013 - Philosophy Compass 8 (5):496-509.
Motor Intentionality and its Primordiality.Jennifer Hudin - 2006 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 49 (6):573 – 590.
Exploitable Isomorphism and Structural Representation.Nicholas Shea - 2014 - Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 114 (2pt2):123-144.
How to Think About Mental Content.Frances Egan - 2013 - Philosophical Studies (1):1-21.
Does Representational Content Arise From Biological Function?Richard J. Hall - 1990 - PSA: Proceedings of the Biennial Meeting of the Philosophy of Science Association 1990:193 - 199.

Analytics

Added to PP index
2014-06-30

Total downloads
117 ( #52,545 of 2,285,005 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
1 ( #389,834 of 2,285,005 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Monthly downloads

My notes

Sign in to use this feature