To send content items to your account,
please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies.
If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account.
Find out more about sending content to .
To send content items to your Kindle, first ensure email@example.com
is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings
on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part
of your Kindle email address below.
Find out more about sending to your Kindle.
Note you can select to send to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations.
‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be sent to your device when it is connected to wi-fi.
‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.
Paul Churchland cemented his appointment as Ambassador of Connectionism to Philosophy with the 1986 publication of his paper “Some reductive strategies in cognitive neurobiology.” However, as Churchland tells the story in the preface to his collection of papers, A Neurocomputational Perspective, his relationship with connectionism began three years earlier, when he became acquainted with the model of the cerebellum put forward by Andras Pellionisz and Rodolfo Llinas (1979). The work of Pellionisz and Llinas foreshadows many of the arguments that Churchland makes. They argue that functions of the brain are represented in multidimensional spaces, that neural networks should therefore be treated as “geometrical objects” (323), and that “the internal language of the brain is vectorial” (330). The Pellionisz and Llinas paper also includes an argument for the superiority of neural network organization over von Neumann computer organization on the grounds that the network is more reliable and resistant to damage, a theme to which Churchland often returns.
Over the years, Churchland has applied connectionism to several areas of philosophy, notably: philosophy of mind, epistemology, philosophy of science, and ethics. Churchland's arguments in these areas have a common structure. First, he shows that the predominant positions in the field are (a) based on an assumption that the fundamental objects of study are propositions and logical inferences, and (b) have significant internal difficulties largely attributable to that assumption. Second, he presents a re-construal of the field based on connectionism, giving a “neurocomputational perspective” on the fundamental issues in the field.