more from Steven Pinker

Single Idea 7510

[catalogued under 12. Knowledge Sources / D. Empiricism / 2. Associationism]

Full Idea

Connectionists do not, of course, believe that the mind is a blank slate, but they do believe in the closest mechanistic equivalent, a general purpose learning device.

Gist of Idea

Connectionists say the mind is a general purpose learning device


Steven Pinker (The Blank Slate [2002], Ch.5)

Book Reference

Pinker,Steven: 'The Blank Slate' [Penguin 2003], p.78

A Reaction

This shows the closeness of connectionism to Hume's associationism (Idea 2189), which was just a minimal step away from Locke's mind as 'white paper' (Idea 7507). Pinker is defending 'human nature', but connectionism has a point.

Related Ideas

Idea 7507 The mind is white paper, with no writing, or ideas [Locke]

Idea 2189 All ideas are connected by Resemblance, Contiguity in time or place, and Cause and Effect [Hume]