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OFAI-TR-93-30 ( 61kB g-zipped PostScript file)

Words, Symbols, and Symbol Grounding

Georg Dorffner, Erich Prem, Harald Trost

In this paper we present a definition of `symbol' in cognitive science which is designed to clear some obvious misunderstandings in discussions around ``symbolic'' vs. ``sub-symbolic'' approaches. We discuss this definition in the light of three different frames of reference (i.e. three different views, namely the intelligent agent's, an observer's, and a meta-observer's). Then we show the implications of these views for cognitive science and artificial intelligence (AI) and discuss whether the most conspicous ``symbols'' in cognition --- words in a language --- can fulfill the ideals behind their definition.

Citation: Dorffner G., Prem E., Trost H.: Words, Symbols, and Symbol Grounding, in: Proc. 16th Wittgenstein Symposium