Jonathan Opie (1998) Connectionist Modelling Strategies . Psycoloquy: 9(30) Connectionist Explanation (27)
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Psycoloquy 9(30): Connectionist Modelling Strategies

Commentary on Green on Connectionist-Explanation

Jonathan Opie
Department of Philosophy
The University of Adelaide
South Australia 5005


Green offers us two options: either connectionist models are literal models of brain activity or they are mere instruments, with little or no ontological significance. According to Green, only the first option renders connectionist models genuinely explanatory. I think there is a third possibility. Connectionist models are not literal models of brain activity, but neither are they mere instruments. They are abstract, IDEALISED models of the brain that are capable of providing genuine explanations of cognitive phenomena.


connectionism, explanation, instrumentalism, realism, idealisation.