Athanassios Raftopoulos (1998) Can Connectionist Theories Illuminate Cognition?
. Psycoloquy: 9(24) Connectionist Explanation (21)
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Psycoloquy 9(24): Can Connectionist Theories Illuminate Cognition?
CAN CONNECTIONIST THEORIES ILLUMINATE COGNITION?
Comment on Green on Connectionist-Explanation
Assistant Professor of Philosophy and Cognitive Science
American College of Thessaloniki
P.O. BOX 21021,
In this commentary I attempt to show in what sense we can
speak of connectionist theory as illuminating cognition. It is
usually argued that distributed connectionist networks do not
explain brain function because they do not use the appropriate
explanatory vocabulary of propositional attitudes, and because
their basic terms, being theoretical, do not refer to anything.
There is a level of analysis, however, at which the propositional
attitude vocabulary can be reconstructed and used to explain the
performance of networks; and the basic terms of networks are not
theoretical but observable entities that purport to refer to terms
used to describe the brain.
connectionism, cognition, explanation, philosophy of
science, theory, theoretical terms.