Can Connectionists Explain Systematicity?
Abstract:Classicists and connectionists alike claim to be able to explain systematicity. The proposed classicist explanation, I argue, is little more than a promissory note, one that classicists have no idea how to redeem. Smolensky’s (1995) proposed connectionist explanation fares little better: it is not vulnerable to recent classicist objections, but it nonetheless fails, particularly if one requires, as some classicists do, that explanations of systematicity take the form of a ‘functional analysis’. Nonetheless, there are, I argue, reasons for cautious optimism about the prospects of a connectionist explanation.
Document Type: Research Article
Affiliations: Department of Philosophy, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ 08903, USA
Publication date: June 1, 1997