Re: Symbols, Images and Neural Nets

From: Dunsdon, Graham (
Date: Wed Feb 19 1997 - 12:10:36 GMT

Can someone help me with a definition for 'functionalism'
which disinguishes it also from connectionism please?

At present, to me functionalism is a branch of computational modelling
which categorizes and explicitly processes objects according to
similarities in symbols eg., a sundial, a face, a circle.
Connectionism, in contrast, uses the interaction of numerous little
features to make the connections which categorise the object and then
enable the identification and recognition of its unique properties. But
I'm then stuck with the problem of understanding how functionalism
(which as a method of processing uses 'empty boxes') is able to
represent the diversity of objects with similar basic shapes but very
different insides!

I seem to have returned to the symbolic-connectionist debate. Help!

Dunsdon, Graham.

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