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Can Connectionists Explain Systematicity?

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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.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Department of Philosophy, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ 08903, USA

Publication date: 1997-06-01

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