The proper treatment of strcutured representations


Accounts of human mental representation typically posit either the sole existence of structured (i.e., totally symbolic) representations, or the sole existence of holistic (i.e., totally sub-symbolic, or connectionist) representations. We argue that systems that implement structured representations are not necessarily as different form those that represent holistic representations as they appear at first blush. In fact, when a connectionist system is augmented with a single source of information, it becomes functionally symbolic. The resulting system addresses many of the problems associated with traditional symbolic approaches to cognition

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