Minds and Machines

, Volume 7, Issue 4, pp 571–579

Explaining Systematicity: A Reply to Kenneth Aizawa

  • Robert F. Hadley

DOI: 10.1023/A:1008252322227

Cite this article as:
Hadley, R.F. Minds and Machines (1997) 7: 571. doi:10.1023/A:1008252322227


In his discussion of results which I (with Michael Hayward) recently reported in this journal, Kenneth Aizawa takes issue with two of our conclusions, which are: (a) that our connectionist model provides a basis for explaining systematicity “within the realm of sentence comprehension, and subject to a limited range of syntax” (b) that the model does not employ structure-sensitive processing, and that this is clearly true in the early stages of the network's training. Ultimately, Aizawa rejects both (a) and (b) for reasons which I think are ill-founded. In what follows, I offer a defense of our position. In particular, I argue (1) that Aizawa adopts a standard of explanation that many accepted scientific explanations could not meet, and (2) that Aizawa misconstrues the relevant meaning of ‘structure-sensitive process’.

systematicity connectionism cognitive architecture explanation structure-sensitivity 

Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1997

Authors and Affiliations

  • Robert F. Hadley
    • 1
  1. 1.School of Computing Science and Cognitive Science ProgramSimon Fraser UniversityBurnabyCanada

Personalised recommendations