This paper has been through many incarnations, so I have many people to thank for discussion and comments on earlier versions: Jon Barton, David Chalmers, Paul Churchland, Andy Clark, Martin Davies, Jeff Elman, Justin Fisher, Leonardo Franco, Peter Goldie, Matteo Mameli, David Papineau, Sarah Patterson, Kim Plunkett, Jesse Prinz, Richard Samuels, Paul Schweizer, Gabriel Segal, Helen Steward, Gert Westermann, Michael Wheeler and an anonymous referee for Mind & Language; and audiences in London, Oxford, Edinburgh, at a conference of the European Society for Philosophy and Psychology, at an E.S.R.C. workshop on categorization, and at the Philosophy Program of the Research School of Social Sciences at the Australian National University. The author is grateful to the Arts and Humanities Research Board and the British Academy for their support for this research.
Content and Its Vehicles in Connectionist Systems
Article first published online: 10 MAY 2007
2007 Blackwell Publishing Ltd
Mind & Language
Volume 22, Issue 3, pages 246–269, June 2007
How to Cite
SHEA, N. (2007), Content and Its Vehicles in Connectionist Systems. Mind & Language, 22: 246–269. doi: 10.1111/j.1468-0017.2007.00308.x
- Issue published online: 10 MAY 2007
- Article first published online: 10 MAY 2007
Abstract: This paper advocates explicitness about the type of entity to be considered as content-bearing in connectionist systems; it makes a positive proposal about how vehicles of content should be individuated; and it deploys that proposal to argue in favour of representation in connectionist systems. The proposal is that the vehicles of content in some connectionist systems are clusters in the state space of a hidden layer. Attributing content to such vehicles is required to vindicate the standard explanation for some classificatory networks’ ability to generalise to novel samples their correct classification of the samples on which they were trained.