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The Architecture of CognitionRethinking Fodor and Pylyshyn's Systematicity Challenge$
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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

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Tough Times to Be Talking Systematicity

Tough Times to Be Talking Systematicity

(p.77) 3 Tough Times to Be Talking Systematicity
The Architecture of Cognition

Ken Aizawa

The MIT Press

During the 1980's and 1990's Fodor, McLaughlin, and Pylyshyn claimed that thought is in various respects systematic. Further, they argued that so-called “Classical” syntactically and semantically combinatorial representations provide a better explanation of the systematicity of thought than do non-combinatorial representations or non-Classical combinatorial representations. During the 1990’s, part of what made the systematicity arguments problematic was the subtlety of the idea of providing a better explanation. In what sense is the Classical account better than its rivals? During what we might call the Post-Connectionist era of roughly the last ten years, however, theoretical shifts have made it even more difficult to bring considerations of the systematicity of thought to bear on the nature of cognition. Post-Connectionist cognitive science has come to focus less on cognition. This chapter reviews these changes in the cognitive science landscape regarding systematicity.

Keywords:   Systematicity, Cognition, Behavior, Amodal completion, Ecological psychology, Enactivism, Adaptive behavior

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