6.4d. Dynamical Systems (Dynamical Systems on PhilPapers)
• Just how modular is the mind? (section 1) – a debate initially pitting encapsulatedOur project here is to consider the second issue within the broader context of where cognitive science has been and where it is headed. The notion that cognition in general—not just language processing—involves rules operating on language-like representations actually predates cognitive science. In traditional philosophy of mind, mental life is construed as involving propositional attitudes—that is, such attitudes towards propositions as believing, fearing, and desiring that they be true—and logical inferences from them. On this view, if a person desires that a proposition be true and believes that if she performs a certain action it will become true, she will make the inference and (absent any overriding consideration) perform the action
mechanisms (Fodorian modules that feed their ultimate outputs to a nonmodular central
cognition) against highly interactive ones (e.g., connectionist networks that continuously
feed streams of output to one another).
• Does the mind process language-like representations according to formal rules? (this
section) – a debate initially pitting symbolic architectures (such as Chomsky’s generative
grammar or Fodor’s language of thought) against less language-like architectures (such
as connectionist or dynamical ones).