The University of Sussex

Beyond eliminativism

Andy Clark

There is a school of thought which links connectionist models of cognition to eliminativism - the thesis that the constructs of commonsense psychology (principally beliefs and desires) do not exist. This way of construing the impact of connectionist modelling, the author argues, deeply mistaken and depends crucially on a shallow analysis of the notion of explanation. In this paper he argues that legitimate theoretical constructs may aim to group together sets of physically disparite mechanisms and that the constructs of common sense psychology may fulfil this function without fixing on discrete states of individual processing.

This paper is not available online