Can Wittgenstein help free the mind from rules? The philosophical foundations of connectionism

Dror, Itiel E. and Dascal, Marcelo (1997) Can Wittgenstein help free the mind from rules? The philosophical foundations of connectionism. In, Johnson, David and Erneling, Christina (eds.) The Future of the Cognitive Revolution. Oxford, UK, Oxford University Press, 293-305.


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The question whether the construct 'rule' is essential or not for cognition is one of the main divisions between connectionist and rival approaches in cognitive science. In this paper, the philosophical significance of this division is examined, and its implications for cognitive research, in the light of several possible interpretations of Wittgenstein's paradox of following a rule are considered. The conclusion is that the rejection of rules by connectionism makes it philosophically incompatible with the symbolic rule-governed approach; however, the rejection of rules does not necessarily lead, on its own, to a single way of conceptualizing the mind and its place in nature. Wittgenstein's notions of 'form of life' and 'language games' are used as an aid in forming the philosophical foundations of connectionism.

Item Type: Book Section
ISBNs: 9780195103342 (hardback)
0195103343 (hardback)
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Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Divisions : University Structure - Pre August 2011 > School of Psychology > Division of Cognition
ePrint ID: 18336
Accepted Date and Publication Date:
Date Deposited: 11 Jan 2006
Last Modified: 31 Mar 2016 11:34

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