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Subject Philosophy

DOI: 10.1111/b.9781405106795.2004.x


P hilosophy of mind A program in artificial intelligence and cognitive science that is designed to help us understand how the brain operates in terms of computer models of brain functioning. The theory considers the brain as a network of neural units that interact until they reach a stable state in response to external inputs. The information-process is parallel and distributed, that is to say that a lot of information is processed simultaneously and each connection contributes to many contents. Connectionism is also called parallel distributed processing (PDP) or neural network modeling. This approach, pioneered by F. Rosenblatt and O. Selfridge, contrasts with the traditional approach in cognitive science, which treats the brain as a rule-governed linear manipulator. The central philosophical implication of connectionism is that human intelligence can be understood to arise out of the whole structure of neural systems in the brain. Such a philosophical approach is sometimes called neuro-philosophy. “Connectionism (or PDP, for parallel distributed processing) is a fairly recent development in AI that promises to move cognitive modelling closer to neural modelling, since the elements that are its bricks are nodes in parallel networks that are connected up in ways that look rather like neural networks in the brain.” Dennett, Consciousness Explained ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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