The University of Edinburgh -
Division of Informatics
Forrest Hill & 80 South Bridge

Research Paper #607

Title:'Semantic Procedure' is an Oxymoron
Date: 1992
Presented:To appear in Brain and Behavioural Sciences
Abstract:This article is part of the multiple book review of "Deduction" by Johnson-Laird and Byrne in Brain and Behavioural Sciences. I argue that there is no difference in kind between the mental models deduction mechanism proposed by Johnson-Laird and Byrne and rule-based mechanisms for deduction. Indeed, it is possible to view many deduction mechanisms as simultaneously of both types. The issue of intentionality arises with both types of mechanism, and is not finessed by the use of a model-based approach. To the best of my knowledge Johnson-Laird and Byrne make no claim to the contrary. However, others may erroneously draw that conclusion from the free use of words like 'semantics', 'model', etc. For this reason I recommend that the word 'semantics' be used with extreme caution. It is a highly ambiguous term and has great potential to mislead.
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