Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
The Architecture of CognitionRethinking Fodor and Pylyshyn's Systematicity Challenge$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Paco Calvo and John Symons

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780262027236

Published to MIT Press Scholarship Online: September 2014

DOI: 10.7551/mitpress/9780262027236.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM MIT PRESS SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.mitpress.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright The MIT Press, 2017. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in MITSO for personal use (for details see http://www.mitpress.universitypressscholarship.com/page/privacy-policy).date: 15 December 2017

PDP and Symbol Manipulation

PDP and Symbol Manipulation

What's Been Learned Since 1986?

Chapter:
(p.103) 4 PDP and Symbol Manipulation
Source:
The Architecture of Cognition
Author(s):

Gary Marcus

Publisher:
The MIT Press
DOI:10.7551/mitpress/9780262027236.003.0004

One of the most fascinating ideas ever to emerge from cognitive science was the notion that the mind, unlike digital computers, might proceed entirely without recourse to symbol-manipulation. But how tenable is that intriguing idea, 25 years later? Fodor and Pylyshyn challenged it immediately; I argue that so-called “eliminative connectionism” never made as much progress as its authors might hope. Instead, there continues to be good reason to believe that minds have, among other capacities, a neurally realized way of representing symbols, variables, and operations over variables, and have the resources to distinguish types from tokens and to represent ordered pairs and structured units. After a quarter century, advocates of eliminative connectionism have yet to mount an adequate alternative. A more profitable endeavor might be to figure out how to use networks of neurons in systems that unify symbols and statistics, rather than needlessly treating them as antithetical.

Keywords:   Symbol manipulation, Eliminative connectionism, Syntactic trees

MIT Press Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.