Connectionism and the Philosophy of Mind

Studies in Cognitive Systems

Book 9
Springer Science & Business Media
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This series will include monographs and collections of studies devoted to the investigation and exploration of knowledge, information and data processing systems of all kinds, no matter whether human, (other) animal, or machine. Its scope is intended to span the full range of interests from classical problems in the philosophy of mind and philosophical psychology through issues in cognitive psychology and sociobiology (concerning the mental capabilities of other species) to ideas related to artificial intelligence and to computer science. While primary emphasis will be placed upon theoretical, conceptual and epistemological aspects of these problems and domains, empirical, experimental and methodological studies will also appear from time to time. One of the most, if not the most, exciting developments within cognitive science has been the emergence of connectionism as an alternative to the computational conception of the mind that tends to dominate the discipline. In this volume, John Tienson and Terence Horgan have brought together a fine collection of stimulating studies on connectionism and its significance. As the Introduction explains, the most pressing questions concern whether or not connectionism can provide a new conception of the nature of mentality. By focusing on the similarities and differences between connectionism and other approaches to cognitive science, the chapters of this book supply valuable resources that advance our understanding of these difficult issues. J.H.F.
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Publisher
Springer Science & Business Media
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Published on
Dec 6, 2012
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Pages
473
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ISBN
9789401135245
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Language
English
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Genres
Computers / Information Technology
Computers / Intelligence (AI) & Semantics
Philosophy / General
Philosophy / Mind & Body
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This content is DRM protected.
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Soar: A Cognitive Architecture in Perspective represents a European perspective on Soar with the exception of the special contribution from Allen Newell arguing for Unified Theories of Cognition.
The various papers derive from the work of the Soar Research Group that has been active at the University of Groningen, The Netherlands, since 1987. The work reported here has been inspired in particular by two topics that precipitated the group's interest in Soar in the first place -- road user behavior and the temporal organization of behavior, more specifically planning. At the same time, the various contributions go well beyond the simple use of Soar as a convenient medium for modeling human cognitive activity. In every paper one or more fundamental issues are raised that touch upon the very nature and consistency of Soar as an intelligent architecture. As a result the reader will learn about the operator implementation problem, chunking, multitasking, the need to constrain the depth of the goal stack, and induction, etc.
Soar is still at a relatively early stage of development. It does, nevertheless, constitute an important breakthrough in the area of computer architectures for general intelligence. Soar shows one important direction that future efforts to build intelligent systems should take if they aim for a comprehensive, and psychologically meaningful, theory of cognition. This is argued in a powerful way by Newell in his contribution to this volume. For this reason, the Soar system will probably play an important integrative role within cognitive science in bringing together important subdomains of psychology, computer science, linguistics, and the neurosciences. Although Soar is not the only `architecture for intelligence', it is one of the most advanced and theoretically best motivated architectures presently available.
Soar: A Cognitive Architecture in Perspective is of special interest to researchers in the domains of cognitive science, computer science and artificial intelligence, cognitive psychology, and the philosophy of mind.
This series will include monographs and collections of studies devoted to the investigation and exploration of knowledge, information, and data-processing systems of all kinds, no matter whether human, (other) animal, or machine. Its scope is intended to span the full range of interests from classical problems in the philosophy of mind and philosophical psychology through issues in cognitive psychology and sociobiology (concerning the mental capabilities of other species) to ideas related to artificial intelligence and to computer science. While primary emphasis will be placed upon theoretical, conceptual, and epistemological aspects of these problems and domains, empirical, experimental, and methodological studies will also appear from time to time. Sam Coval and Peter Campbell provide a painstaking and distinctive analysis of the nature of action and agency. They introduce a conception of acts which encompasses the purposes that motivate them, the beliefs on the basis of which they are undertaken, and the effects that they bring about. They compare and contrast their account with ones advanced by Davidson, Brand, Searle, Danto, and other, while elaborating its consequences for understanding the nature of alibis, mistakes, accidents, inadvertence, and the like. The valuable diagrams and the discussion of the software program they have developed, which implements their theory, amply displays the potential of combining philosophy and AI with law and other disciplines focused upon agency. J.H.F.
Among the most important problems confronting computer science is that of developing a paradigm appropriate to the discipline. Proponents of formal methods - such as John McCarthy, C.A.R. Hoare, and Edgar Dijkstra - have advanced the position that computing is a mathematical activity and that computer science should model itself after mathematics. Opponents of formal methods - by contrast, suggest that programming is the activity which is fundamental to computer science and that there are important differences that distinguish it from mathematics, which therefore cannot provide a suitable paradigm.
Disagreement over the place of formal methods in computer science has recently arisen in the form of renewed interest in the nature and capacity of program verification as a method for establishing the reliability of software systems. A paper that appeared in Communications of the ACM entitled, `Program Verification: The Very Idea', by James H. Fetzer triggered an extended debate that has been discussed in several journals and that has endured for several years, engaging the interest of computer scientists (both theoretical and applied) and of other thinkers from a wide range of backgrounds who want to understand computer science as a domain of inquiry.
The editors of this collection have brought together many of the most interesting and important studies that contribute to answering questions about the nature and the limits of computer science. These include early papers advocating the mathematical paradigm by McCarthy, Naur, R. Floyd, and Hoare (in Part I), others that elaborate the paradigm by Hoare, Meyer, Naur, and Scherlis and Scott (in Part II), challenges, limits and alternatives explored by C. Floyd, Smith, Blum, and Naur (in Part III), and recent work focusing on formal verification by DeMillo, Lipton, and Perlis, Fetzer, Cohn, and Colburn (in Part IV). It provides essential resources for further study.
This volume will appeal to scientists, philosophers, and laypersons who want to understand the theoretical foundations of computer science and be appropriately positioned to evaluate the scope and limits of the discipline.
This series will include monographs and collections of studies devoted to the investigation and exploration of knowledge, information, and data-processing systems of all kinds, no matter whether human, (other) animal, or machine. Its scope is intended to span the full range of interest from classical problems in the philosophy of mind and philosophical psychology through issues in cognitive psychology and sociobiology (concerning the mental powers of other species) to ideas related to artificial intelligence and computer science. While primary emphasis will be placed upon theoretical, conceptual, and epistemological aspects of these problems and domains, empirical, experimen tal, and methodological studies will also appear from time to time. The present volume reflects the kind of insights that can be obtained when research workers in philosophy, artificial intelligence, and computer science explore problems of common concern. The issues here tend to fall into two broad but varied sets, namely: those concerned with content and concepts, on the one hand, and those concerned with semantics and epistemology, on the other. The collection begins with a prologue that focuses upon the relations between connectionism and alternative conceptions of nativism and ends with an epilogue that examines the significance of alternative conceptions of the Frame Problem for artificial intelligence. Because these papers are rich and diverse, they ought to appeal to a wide and heterogeneous audience. J.H.F.
This book presents a mechanist philosophy of mind. I hold that the human mind is a system of computational or recursive rules that are embodied in the nervous system; that the material presence of these rules accounts for perception, conception, speech, belief, desire, intentional acts, and other forms of intelligence. In this edition I have retained the whole of the fIrst edition except for discussion of issues which no longer are relevant in philosophy of mind and cognitive psychology. Earlier reference to disputes of the 1960's and 70's between hard-line empiricists and neorationalists over the psychological status of grammars and language acquisition, for instance, has simply been dropped. In place of such material I have entered some timely or new topics and a few changes. There are brief references to the question of computer versus distributed processing (connectionist) theories. Many of these questions dissolve if one distinguishes as I now do in Chapter II between free and embodied algorithms. I have also added to my comments on artifIcal in telligence some reflections. on Searle's Chinese Translator. The irreducibility of machine functionalist psychology in my version or any other has been exaggerated. Input, output, and state entities are token identical to physical or biological things of some sort, while a machine system as a collection of recursive rules is type identical to representatives of equivalence classes. This nuld technicality emerges in Chapter XI. It entails that so-called "anomalous monism" is right in one sense and wrong in another.
Soar: A Cognitive Architecture in Perspective represents a European perspective on Soar with the exception of the special contribution from Allen Newell arguing for Unified Theories of Cognition.
The various papers derive from the work of the Soar Research Group that has been active at the University of Groningen, The Netherlands, since 1987. The work reported here has been inspired in particular by two topics that precipitated the group's interest in Soar in the first place -- road user behavior and the temporal organization of behavior, more specifically planning. At the same time, the various contributions go well beyond the simple use of Soar as a convenient medium for modeling human cognitive activity. In every paper one or more fundamental issues are raised that touch upon the very nature and consistency of Soar as an intelligent architecture. As a result the reader will learn about the operator implementation problem, chunking, multitasking, the need to constrain the depth of the goal stack, and induction, etc.
Soar is still at a relatively early stage of development. It does, nevertheless, constitute an important breakthrough in the area of computer architectures for general intelligence. Soar shows one important direction that future efforts to build intelligent systems should take if they aim for a comprehensive, and psychologically meaningful, theory of cognition. This is argued in a powerful way by Newell in his contribution to this volume. For this reason, the Soar system will probably play an important integrative role within cognitive science in bringing together important subdomains of psychology, computer science, linguistics, and the neurosciences. Although Soar is not the only `architecture for intelligence', it is one of the most advanced and theoretically best motivated architectures presently available.
Soar: A Cognitive Architecture in Perspective is of special interest to researchers in the domains of cognitive science, computer science and artificial intelligence, cognitive psychology, and the philosophy of mind.
This series will include monographs and collections of studies devoted to the investigation and exploration of knowledge, information and data-processing systems of all kinds, no matter whether human, (other) animal or machine. Its scope is intended to span the full range of interests from classical problems in the philosophy of mind and philosophical psychology through issues in cognitive psychology and sociobiology (concerning the mental capabilities of other species) to ideas related to artificial intelligence and to computer science. While primary emphasis will be placed upon theoretical, conceptual and epistemological aspects of these problems and domains, empirical, experimental and methodological studies will also appear from time to time. The present volume illustrates the approach represented by this series. It addresses fundamental questions lying at the heart of artificial intelligence, including those of the relative virtues of computational and of non-computational conceptions of language and of mind, whether AI should be envisioned as a philosophical or as a scientific discipline, the theoretical character of patterns of inference and modes of argumenta tion (especially, defeasible and inductive reasoning), and the relations that may obtain between AI and epistemology. Alternative positions are developed in detail and subjected to vigorous debate in the justifiable expectation that - here as elsewhere - critical inquiry provides the most promising path to discovering the truth about ourselves and the world around us. lH.F.
#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • PULITZER PRIZE FINALIST • This inspiring, exquisitely observed memoir finds hope and beauty in the face of insurmountable odds as an idealistic young neurosurgeon attempts to answer the question What makes a life worth living?

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Finalist for the PEN Center USA Literary Award in Creative Nonfiction and the Books for a Better Life Award in Inspirational Memoir

At the age of thirty-six, on the verge of completing a decade’s worth of training as a neurosurgeon, Paul Kalanithi was diagnosed with stage IV lung cancer. One day he was a doctor treating the dying, and the next he was a patient struggling to live. And just like that, the future he and his wife had imagined evaporated. When Breath Becomes Air chronicles Kalanithi’s transformation from a naïve medical student “possessed,” as he wrote, “by the question of what, given that all organisms die, makes a virtuous and meaningful life” into a neurosurgeon at Stanford working in the brain, the most critical place for human identity, and finally into a patient and new father confronting his own mortality.

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Paul Kalanithi died in March 2015, while working on this book, yet his words live on as a guide and a gift to us all. “I began to realize that coming face to face with my own mortality, in a sense, had changed nothing and everything,” he wrote. “Seven words from Samuel Beckett began to repeat in my head: ‘I can’t go on. I’ll go on.’” When Breath Becomes Air is an unforgettable, life-affirming reflection on the challenge of facing death and on the relationship between doctor and patient, from a brilliant writer who became both.
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • Thought leader, visionary, philanthropist, mystic, and yogi Sadhguru presents Western readers with a time-tested path to achieving absolute well-being: the classical science of yoga.

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The practice of hatha yoga, as we commonly know it, is but one of eight branches of the body of knowledge that is yoga. In fact, yoga is a sophisticated system of self-empowerment that is capable of harnessing and activating inner energies in such a way that your body and mind function at their optimal capacity. It is a means to create inner situations exactly the way you want them, turning you into the architect of your own joy.

A yogi lives life in this expansive state, and in this transformative book Sadhguru tells the story of his own awakening, from a boy with an unusual affinity for the natural world to a young daredevil who crossed the Indian continent on his motorcycle. He relates the moment of his enlightenment on a mountaintop in southern India, where time stood still and he emerged radically changed. Today, as the founder of Isha, an organization devoted to humanitarian causes, he lights the path for millions. The term guru, he notes, means “dispeller of darkness, someone who opens the door for you. . . . As a guru, I have no doctrine to teach, no philosophy to impart, no belief to propagate. And that is because the only solution for all the ills that plague humanity is self-transformation. Self-transformation means that nothing of the old remains. It is a dimensional shift in the way you perceive and experience life.” The wisdom distilled in this accessible, profound, and engaging book offers readers time-tested tools that are fresh, alive, and radiantly new. Inner Engineering presents a revolutionary way of thinking about our agency and our humanity and the opportunity to achieve nothing less than a life of joy.

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