Reflections in Silicon: Artificial and Natural Neural Networks (1997)
The concept of neural networks as serious analogs for human brain function is very appealing, but controversy continues over how significant they are, and in what contexts they may be applicable. They are of serious interest for philosophers for their implications for theories of mind, for issues involving thought. perception and knowledge. There is serious doubt about whether an electronic mechanism, no matter how elaborate, can meaningfully mimic the functions of a complex electrobiochemically active organ. Proponents believe that neural networks can perform cognitive tasks at a functional level, and that we may be able to learn much about our own cerebral activities from their study. I conclude that neural networks are an important and essential model for mental function, but that the neuronal circuitry alone is. not sufficient to explain motivation or overall system guidance.
Masters Thesis, Department of Philosophy, the University of Texas at Austin, Austin, TX, 1997.

Rick Tanney Masters Alumni