Connectionism, Dynamical Cognition, and Non-Classical Compositional Representation

Terry Horgan

in The Oxford Handbook of Compositionality

Published in print February 2012 | ISBN: 9780199541072
Published online September 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks in Linguistics

 Connectionism, Dynamical Cognition, and Non-Classical Compositional Representation

More Like This

Show all results sharing these subjects:

  • Linguistics
  • Psycholinguistics
  • Cognitive Linguistics


Show Summary Details


This article addresses the issue of compositionality of mental representations from the perspective of a foundational framework for cognitive science. The dynamical cognition framework (DC framework) is inspired partially by connectionism and partially by the persistence of the problem of relevance within classical computational cognitive science. It treats cognition in terms of the mathematics of dynamical systems: total occurrent cognitive states are mathematically/structurally realized as points in a high-dimensional dynamical system, and these mathematical points are physically realized by total-activation states of a neural network with specific connection weights. The framework repudiates the classicist assumption that cognitive-state transitions conform to a tractably computable transition function over cognitive states. Computational Theory of Mind (CTM) states that the causal role of a mental representation is syntactically determined, but this idea of syntactic determination of causal role is ambiguous.

Keywords: cognitive states; dynamical cognition framework; cognitive-state transitions; CTM; compositionality

Article.  8033 words. 

Subjects: Linguistics ; Psycholinguistics ; Cognitive Linguistics

Full text: subscription required

How to subscribe Recommend to my Librarian

Buy this work at Oxford University Press »

Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. Please, subscribe or login to access all content.