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Of One Mind: Proposal for a Non-Cartesian Cognitive Architecture


Of One Mind: Proposal for a Non-Cartesian Cognitive Architecture

Cochrane, Linda (2014) Of One Mind: Proposal for a Non-Cartesian Cognitive Architecture. PhD thesis, Concordia University.

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Intellectually, we may reject Cartesian Dualism, but dualism often dominates our everyday thinking: we talk of “mental” illness as though it were non-physical; we tend to blame people for the symptoms of brain malfunctions in a way that differs from how we treat other illnesses. An examination of current theories of mind will reveal that some form of dualism is not always limited to the non-scientific realm. While very few, if any, cognitive scientists support mind-body dualism, those who support the view of the mind as a symbol-manipulator are often constrained to postulate more than one cognitive system in response to the failure of the symbol-system model to account for all aspects of human cognition.

In this dissertation, I argue for an empiricist, rather than a realist, theory of perception, for an internalist semantics, and for a model of cognitive architecture which combines a connectionist approach with highly-specialized, symbolic, computational component which includes functions that provide input to a a causally-inert conscious mind. I reject the symbol-system hypothesis and propose a cognitive architecture which, I contend, is biologically-plausible and more consistent with the results of recent neuroscientific studies. This hybrid model can accommodate the processes commonly discussed by dual-process theorists and can also accommodate the processes which have proved to be so problematic for models based on the symbol-system hypothesis.

Divisions:Concordia University > Faculty of Arts and Science
Item Type:Thesis (PhD)
Authors:Cochrane, Linda
Institution:Concordia University
Degree Name:Ph. D.
Program:Individualized Program
Date:19 September 2014
Thesis Supervisor(s):Reiss, Charles
Keywords:Cognitive science; cognitive architecture; connectionism; symbol system hypothesis; consciousness; philosophy of mind; philosophy of language
ID Code:979127
Deposited On:11 Nov 2015 14:55
Last Modified:16 Jul 2019 20:48
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