Javascript Menu by
MindPapers is now part of PhilPapers: online research in philosophy, a new service with many more features.
 Compiled by David Chalmers (Editor) & David Bourget (Assistant Editor), Australian National University. Submit an entry.
click here for help on how to search

6.3c. Connectionism and Eliminativism (Connectionism and Eliminativism on PhilPapers)

See also:
Bickle, John (1993). Connectionism, eliminativism, and the semantic view of theories. Erkenntnis 39 (3):359-382.   (Cited by 5 | Annotation | Google | More links)
Abstract:   Recently some philosophers have urged that connectionist artificial intelligence is (potentially) eliminative for the propositional attitudes of folk psychology. At the same time, however, these philosophers have also insisted that since philosophy of science has failed to provide criteria distinguishing ontologically retentive from eliminative theory changes, the resulting eliminativism is not principled. Application of some resources developed within the semantic view of scientific theories, particularly recent formal work on the theory reduction relation, reveals these philosophers to be wrong in this second contention, yet by and large correct in the first
Botterill, George (1994). Beliefs, functionally discrete states, and connectionist networks. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 45 (3):899-906.   (Cited by 2 | Annotation | Google | More links)
Chemero, Anthony (2007). Asking what's inside the head: Neurophilosophy meets the extended mind. Minds and Machines 17 (3).   (Google | More links)
Abstract: In their historical overview of cognitive science, Bechtel, Abraham- son and Graham (1999) describe the field as expanding in focus be- ginning in the mid-1980s. The field had spent the previous 25 years on internalist, high-level GOFAI (“good old fashioned artificial intelli- gence” [Haugeland 1985]), and was finally moving “outwards into the environment and downards into the brain” (Bechtel et al, 1999, p.75). One important force behind the downward movement was Patricia Churchland’s Neurophilosophy (1986). This book began a movement bearing its name, one that truly came of age in 1999 when Kath- leen Akins won a million-dollar fellowship to begin the McDonnell Project in Philosophy and the Neurosciences. The McDonnell Project put neurophilosophy at the forefront of philosophy of mind and cogni- tive science, yielding proliferating articles, conferences, special journal issues and books. In two major new books, neurophilosophers Patricia Churchland (2002) and John Bickle (2003) clearly feel this newfound prominence: Churchland mocks those who do not apply findings in neuroscience to philosophical problems as “no-brainers”; Bickle mocks anyone with traditional philosophical concerns, including “naturalistic philosophers of mind” and other neurophilosophers
Clark, Andy (1989). Beyond eliminativism. Mind and Language 4 (4):251-79.   (Cited by 5 | Annotation | Google | More links)
Clapin, Hugh (1991). Connectionism isn't magic. Minds and Machines 1 (2):167-84.   (Cited by 3 | Annotation | Google | More links)
Abstract:   Ramsey, Stich and Garon's recent paper Connectionism, Eliminativism, and the Future of Folk Psychology claims a certain style of connectionism to be the final nail in the coffin of folk psychology. I argue that their paper fails to show this, and that the style of connectionism they illustrate can in fact supplement, rather than compete with, the claims of a theory of cognition based in folk psychology's ontology. Ramsey, Stich and Garon's argument relies on the lack of easily identifiable symbols inside the connectionist network they discuss, and they suggest that the existence of a system which behaves in a cognitively interesting way, but which cannot be explained by appeal to internal symbol processing, falsifies central assumptions of folk psychology. My claim is that this argument is flawed, and that the theorist need not discard folk psychology in order to accept that the network illustrated exhibits cognitively interesting behaviour, even if it is conceded that symbols cannot be readily identified within the network
Clark, Andy (1990). Connectionist minds. Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 90:83-102.   (Cited by 10 | Annotation | Google)
Davies, Martin (1991). Concepts, connectionism, and the language of thought. Philosophy and connectionist theory. Lawrence Erlbaum.   (Annotation | Google)
Egan, Frances (1995). Folk psychology and cognitive architecture. Philosophy of Science 62 (2):179-96.   (Cited by 7 | Google | More links)
Forster, M. & Saidel, Eric (1994). Connectionism and the fate of folk psychology. Philosophical Psychology 7 (4):437-52.   (Cited by 6 | Annotation | Google | More links)
Horgan, Terence E. & Tienson, John L. (1995). Connectionism and the commitments of folk psychology. Philosophical Perspectives 9:127-52.   (Cited by 4 | Google | More links)
Macdonald, Cynthia (1995). Connectionism and eliminativism. In C. Macdonald & Graham F. Macdonald (eds.), Connectionism: Debates on Psychological Explanation. Cambridge: Blackwell.   (Google)
O'Brien, Gerard (1991). Is connectionism commonsense? Philosophical Psychology 4 (2):165-78.   (Google | More links)
Abstract: In this paper I critically examine the line of reasoning that has recently appeared in the literature that connects connectionism with eliminativism. This line of reasoning has it that if connectionist models turn out accurately to characterize our cognition, then beliefs, desires and the other intentional entities of commonsense psychology will be eliminated from our theoretical ontology. In complete contrast I argue (1) that not only is this line of reasoning mistaken about the eliminativist tendencies of connectionist models, but (2) that these models have the potential to provide a more robust vindication of commonsense psychology than classical computational models
O'Leary-Hawthorne, John (1994). On the threat of eliminativism. Philosophical Studies 74 (3):325-46.   (Annotation | Google)
Place, Ullin T. (1992). Eliminative connectionism: Its implications for a return to an empiricist/behaviorist linguistics. Behavior and Philosophy 20 (1):21-35.   (Google)
Ramsey, William; Stich, Stephen P. & Garon, J. (1991). Connectionism, eliminativism, and the future of folk psychology. In William Ramsey, Stephen P. Stich & D. Rumelhart (eds.), Philosophy and Connectionist Theory. Lawrence Erlbaum.   (Cited by 85 | Annotation | Google | More links)
Ramsey, William (1994). Distributed representation and causal modularity: A rejoinder to Forster and Saidel. Philosophical Psychology 7 (4):453-61.   (Cited by 2 | Annotation | Google)
Abstract: In “Connectionism and the fats of folk psychology”, Forster and Saidel argue that the central claim of Ramsey, Stich and Garon (1991)—that distributed connectionist models are incompatible with the causal discreteness of folk psychology—is mistaken. To establish their claim, they offer an intriguing model which allegedly shows how distributed representations can function in a causally discrete manner. They also challenge our position regarding projectibility of folk psychology. In this essay, I offer a response to their account and show how their model fails to demonstrate that our original argument was mistaken. While I will discuss several difficulties with their model, my primary criticism will be that the features of their model that are causally discrete are not truly distributed, while the features that are distributed are not really discrete. Concerning the issue of projectibility, I am more inclined to agree with Forster and Saidel and I offer a revised account of what we should have said originally
Skokowski, Paul G. (ms). Belief in networks.   (Google)
Smolensky, Paul (1995). On the projectable predicates of connectionist psychology: A case for belief. In C. Macdonald & Graham F. Macdonald (eds.), Connectionism: Debates on Psychological Explanation. Blackwell.   (Cited by 4 | Google)
Stich, Stephen P. & Warfield, Ted A. (1995). Reply to Clark and Smolensky: Do connectionist minds have beliefs? In C. Macdonald & Graham F. Macdonald (eds.), Connectionism: Debates on Psychological Explanation. Blackwell.   (Cited by 5 | Google)
Von Eckhardt, Barbara (2004). Connectionism and the propositional attitudes. In Christina E. Erneling & David Martel Johnson (eds.), Mind As a Scientific Object. Oxford University Press.   (Google)