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From Implausible Artificial Neurons to Idealized Cognitive Models: Rebooting Philosophy of Artificial Intelligence

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  01 January 2022


There is a vast literature within philosophy of mind that focuses on artificial intelligence but hardly mentions methodological questions. There is also a growing body of work in philosophy of science about modeling methodology that hardly mentions examples from cognitive science. Here these discussions are connected. Insights developed in the philosophy of science literature about the importance of idealization provide a way of understanding the neural implausibility of connectionist networks. Insights from neurocognitive science illuminate how relevant similarities between models and targets are picked out, how modeling inferences are justified, and the metaphysical status of models.

Research Article
Copyright © The Philosophy of Science Association

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On its very long journey to publication, this article benefited from discussions with many colleagues, including Ken Schaffner, Peter Machamer, Jim Bogen, Floh Thiels, Dave Touretzky, Jackie Sullivan, Liz Irvine, Hong Yu Wong, Eva Engels, Gregor Hochstetter, Boris Hennig, Tim Bayne, Cameron Buckner, and Mikio Akagi, as well as audiences in Barcelona, Cambridge, Berlin, London (Ontario), and Toronto.


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