I wish to thank Walter Dean, Frances Egan, Brian McLaughlin, Mark Moyer and Jonathan Weinberg for helpful discussions of the issues addressed in this paper.
Can Connectionists Explain Systematicity?
Version of Record online: 4 MAY 2007
Mind & Language
Volume 12, Issue 2, pages 154–177, June 1997
How to Cite
MATTHEWS, R. J. (1997), Can Connectionists Explain Systematicity?. Mind & Language, 12: 154–177. doi: 10.1111/j.1468-0017.1997.tb00067.x
- Issue online: 4 MAY 2007
- Version of Record online: 4 MAY 2007
Abstract: Classicists and connectionists alike claim to be able to explain systematicity. The proposed classicist explanation, I argue, is little more than a promissory note, one that classicists have no idea how to redeem. Smolensky's (1995) proposed connectionist explanation fares little better: it is not vulnerable to recent classicist objections, but it nonetheless fails, particularly if one requires, as some classicists do, that explanations of systematicity take the form of a‘functional analysis’. Nonetheless, there are, I argue, reasons for cautious optimism about the prospects of a connectionist explanation.