Connectionism and the philosophical foundations of cognitive science

Terence Horgan

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


This is an overview of recent philosophical discussion about connectionism and the foundations of cognitive science. Connectionist modeling in cognitive science is described. Three broad conceptions of the mind are characterized, and their comparative strengths and weaknesses are discussed: (1) the classical computational conception in cognitive science; (2) a popular foundational interpretation of connectionism that John Tienson and I call "non-sentential computationalism"; and (3) an alternative interpretation of connectionism we call "dynamical cognition." Also discussed are two recent philosophical attempts to enlist connectionism in defense of eliminativism about folk psychology.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-30
Number of pages30
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - 1997


  • Cognition
  • Cognitive science
  • Computation
  • Connectionism
  • Connectionist network
  • Dynamical system
  • Dynamics
  • Eliminativism
  • Folk psychology
  • Foundations of cognitive science
  • Language of thought
  • Mind
  • Neural network

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Philosophy


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