Artificial Intelligence and Law

, Volume 2, Issue 1, pp 39–49 | Cite as

On the artificiality of artificial intelligence

  • Hans F. M. Crombag


In this article the question is raised whether artificial intelligence has any psychological relevance, i.e. contributes to our knowledge of how the mind/brain works. It is argued that the psychological relevance of artificial intelligence of the symbolic kind is questionable as yet, since there is no indication that the brain structurally resembles or operates like a digital computer. However, artificial intelligence of the connectionist kind may have psychological relevance, not because the brain is a neural network, but because connectionist networks exhibit operating characteristics which mimic operant behavior. Finally it is concluded that, since most of the work done so far in ‘AI and Law’ is of the symbolic kind, it has as yet contributed little to our understanding of the legal mind.

Key words

Artificial intelligence connectionism operant behavior 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Atkinson, R. C. & Shiffrin, R. M. 1968. Human Memory: A Proposed System and its Control Processes. InThe Psychology of Learning and Motivation: Advances in Research and Theory, Vol. 2. eds. K. W. Spence & J. T. Spence, 89–195. New York: Academic Press.Google Scholar
  2. Bechtel, W. & Abrahamson, A. 1991.Connectionism and the Mind: An Introduction to Parallel Processing in Networks. Oxford: Basil Blackwell.Google Scholar
  3. Broadbent, D. E. 1958.Perception and Communication. London: Pergamon Press.Google Scholar
  4. Churchland, P. M. 1986.Neurophilosophy: Towards a Unified Understanding of the Mind/Brain. Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press.Google Scholar
  5. Churchland, P. M. & Churchland, P.S. 1990. Could a Machine Think?Scientific American 262: 26–31.Google Scholar
  6. Costall, A. 1991. Graceful Degradation: Cognitivism and the Metaphors of the Computer. InAgainst Cognitivism: Alternative Foundations for Cognitive Psychology, eds. A. Still & A. Costall. New York: Harvester Wheatsheaf.Google Scholar
  7. Crombag, H. F. M. 1989. Why (Legal) Rules often Fail to Control Human Behavior.Methodology and Science 22: 138–148.Google Scholar
  8. Dennett, D. C. 1992.Consciousness Explained. Harmondsworth: Penguin.Google Scholar
  9. Edelman, G. M. 1989.The Remembered Present: A Biological Theory of Consciousness. New York: Basic Books.Google Scholar
  10. Griffin, D. R. 1992.Animal Minds. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
  11. Luria, A. R. 1973.The Working Brain. Harmondsworth: Penguin.Google Scholar
  12. McCarty, L. T. 1990. Artificial Intelligence and Law: How to get there from here.Ratio Juris 3: 189–200.Google Scholar
  13. Miller, G. A. 1956. The Magical Number Seven, plus or Minus Two: Some Limits on our Capacity for Processing Information,Psychological Review 63: 81–97.Google Scholar
  14. Newell, A., Shaw, J. C. & Simon, H. A. 1958. Elements of a Theory of Human Problem Solving.Psychological Review 65: 151–166.Google Scholar
  15. Nisbett, R. & Ross, L. 1980.Human Inference: Strategies and Shortcomings in Social Judgement. Englewood Cliffs: Prentice-Hall.Google Scholar
  16. Norman, D. A. 1986. Reflections on Cognition and Parallel Distributed Processing. InParallel Distributed Processing: Explorations in the Microstructure of Cognition. Volume 2: Psychological and Biological Models, eds. J.L. MacClelland, D. Rumelhart & the PDP Research Group, 531–546. Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press.Google Scholar
  17. Pylyshyn, Z. W. 1979. Methaphorical Imprecision and the ‘Top-Down’ Research Strategy. InMetaphor and Thought, ed. A. Ortony, 420–436. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  18. Searle, J. 1984.Minds, Brains and Science. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
  19. Sergot, M. 1991. The Representation of Law in Computer Programs. InKnowledge-Based Systems and legal Applications, ed. T. J. M. Bench-Capon, 3–67London:Academic Press.Google Scholar
  20. Simon, H. A. 1983.Reason in Human Affairs. Oxford: Basil Blackwell.Google Scholar
  21. Skinner, B. F. 1971.Beyond Freedom and Dignity. New York: Alfred Knopf.Google Scholar
  22. Toda, M. 1982.Man, Robot and Society: Models and Speculations. Boston: Martinus Nijhoff.Google Scholar
  23. Young, J. Z. 1978.Programs of the Brain. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1994

Authors and Affiliations

  • Hans F. M. Crombag
    • 1
  1. 1.Faculty of LawUniversity of LimburgMaastricht

Personalised recommendations