Get Cognition, Vol. 5, No. 2 PDF

By Francois Grosjean, Harlan Lane, Dean Delis, Anne Saxon Slater, Roger C. Schank, Robert Wilensky, B. Elan Dresher, Norbert Hornstein, Terry Winograd, Peter Schonbach & Roger Brown

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Extra resources for Cognition, Vol. 5, No. 2

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P. 328). There are two problems with this criterion: First, whether something is interesting or explanatory is highly relative. For example, a theory of language that described every detail of how a person understood the sentences of a language, and every detail of how that person went about generating sentences, as well as all the cognitive processes in between, would certainly be interesting to AI researchers and psychologists, but apparently not to Dresher and Hornstein. In addition, a theory that is explanatory to a linguist may not be explanatory to a cognitive scientist.

Substituting procedural adequacy for explanatory adequacy thus in no way affects our argument. As for theory-testing, our claim is that the existence of a program which is successful in some limited domain does not provide a test of explanatory adequacy (or of procedural adequacy, for those who prefer that term), and this is true whether there exist many competing theories or no theory at all. How the writing of a computer program such as Winograd’s can test the adequacy of a theory ~ beyond the level of arithmetic mistakes, which we assume is not what is at stake here ~~-has never been made clear, and Wilensky’s restatement of the claim that it does provides no further clarification.

As he does not advance any arguments that go beyond the ones dealt with in the article we will not comment on them here. With Reply to Schank and Wilensky 149 respect to the main point, Wilensky admits that CD-diagrams cannot be expanded in any principled way and that the various expansions of such diagrams depend on context and vary according to the task at hand. This being so, a theory which depends on the generation of such diagrams must contain general principles which govern the selection of diagrams by contexts and tasks.

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