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Philosophy in the Contemporary World

Volume 10, Issue 2, Fall/Winter 2003

David DeMoss
Pages 9-15
DOI: 10.5840/pcw200310221

Connectionist Agency

Any mind-brain theory eventually will have to deal with agency. I do not claim that no other theory could do this successfully. I do claim that connectionism is able to handle some key features of agency. First, I will offer a brief account of connectionism and the advantages of using it to account for human agency, comparing and contrasting connectionism with two other mind-brain accounts in cognitive science, symbolicism and dynamicism. Then, since a connectionist account of agency depends on a unique approach to inner representations, I discuss the connectionist account of representation and the implications this has for our appeal to reasons in explanations of human action. I conclude that, given a connectionist brain account, reasons cannot be causes.