Biology and Philosophy

, Volume 12, Issue 3, pp 327–340 | Cite as

Mind Architecture and Brain Architecture



The use of the computer metaphor has led to the proposal of ’’mind architecture‘‘ (Pylyshyn 1984; Newell 1990) as a model of the organization of the mind. The dualist computational model, however, has, since the earliest days of psychological functionalism, required that the concepts ’’mind architecture‘‘ and ’’brain architecture‘‘ be remote from each other. The development of both connectionism and neurocomputational science, has sought to dispense with this dualism and provide general models of consciousness – a ’’uniform cognitive architecture‘‘ –, which is in general reductionist, but which retains the computer metaphor. This paper examines, in the first place, the concepts of mind architecture and brain architecture, in order to evaluate the syntheses which have recently been offered. It then moves on to show how modifications which have been made to classical functionalist mind architectures, with the aim of making them compatible with brain architectures, are unable to resolve some of the most serious problems of functionalism. Some suggestions are given as to why it is not possible to relate mind structures and brain structures by using neurocomputational approaches, and finally the question is raised of the validity of reductionism in a theory which sets out to unite mind and brain architectures.

mind architecture brain architecture computer metaphor chaos non-linear phenomena reductionism cognitive functionalism neurocomputation PDP knowledge process 


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© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1997

Authors and Affiliations

    • 1
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PhilosophyUniversidad de las Islas BalearesPalma de MallorcaSpain

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