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Connectionism, naturalized epistemology, and eliminative materialism

The aim of this essay is to explore the potential for an epistemology consistent with eliminative materialism based on work in connectionist modeling. / I present a review of the connectionist approach to psychological models that contrasts it with the classical symbolic approach, focusing on the nature of their respective representations. While defending the legitimacy of the connectionist approach, I find that its most useful application is as a basis for neuroscientific investigation. / Discussing connectionist psychology, I find it inconsistent with folk psychology and therefore consistent with eliminative materialism. I argue also for the naturalization of epistemology and thus for the relevance of psychology for epistemology. The conclusion of the essay is an outline of connectionist epistemology, which centres around two mathematical analyses of the global activity of connectionist networks; I argue that connectionist psychology leads to a version of epistemic pragmatism.
Date January 1993
CreatorsKrieger, Gordon S. F.
ContributorsPietroski, Paul (advisor)
PublisherMcGill University
Source SetsLibrary and Archives Canada ETDs Repository / Centre d'archives des thèses électroniques de Bibliothèque et Archives Canada
Detected LanguageEnglish
TypeElectronic Thesis or Dissertation
CoverageMaster of Arts (Department of Philosophy.)
RightsAll items in eScholarship@McGill are protected by copyright with all rights reserved unless otherwise indicated.
Relationalephsysno: 001395124, proquestno: AAIMM94363, Theses scanned by UMI/ProQuest.

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