Problems of Connectionism

Philosophies 9 (2):41 (2024)
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Abstract

The relationship between philosophy and science has always been complementary. Today, while science moves increasingly fast and philosophy shows some problems in catching up with it, it is not always possible to ignore such relationships, especially in some disciplines such as philosophy of mind, cognitive science, and neuroscience. However, the methodological procedures used to analyze these data are based on principles and assumptions that require a profound dialogue between philosophy and science. Following these ideas, this work aims to raise the problems that a classical connectionist theory can cause and problematize them in a cognitive framework, considering both philosophy and cognitive sciences but also the disciplines that are near to them, such as AI, computer sciences, and linguistics. For this reason, we embarked on an analysis of both the computational and theoretical problems that connectionism currently has. The second aim of this work is to advocate for collaboration between neuroscience and philosophy of mind because the promotion of deeper multidisciplinarity seems necessary in order to solve connectionism’s problems. In fact, we believe that the problems that we detected can be solved by a thorough investigation at both a theoretical and an empirical level, and they do not represent an impasse but rather a starting point from which connectionism should learn and be updated while keeping its original and profoundly convincing core.

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Physicalism, or Something Near Enough.Jaegwon Kim - 2005 - Princeton University Press.
Elusive knowledge.David Lewis - 1996 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 74 (4):549 – 567.
Language as a Natural Object.Noam Chomsky - 2000 - In New horizons in the study of language and mind. New York: Cambridge University Press. pp. 106--133.

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