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By J.-C. Fernandez

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Frames have the structure of node networks and relations, and can be linked into frame-systems through transformations; framesystems can be linked by information retrieval networks which provide replacement frames when “a proposed frame cannot be made to fit reality” (P. 2). The theory of frames he proposes is not complete, Minsky tells us, yet it is meant to be suggestive of what a comprehensive theory of human intelligence will look like. Its suggestiveness: is supported by elaborating several areas where the scheme supposedly provides illuminating insights: the ideas proposed here are not enough for a complete theory but .

This theory recognizes that meaning is of prime importance to the way language is structured. Instead of placing emphasis on a “deep structure” tree, it deals with “system networks” describing the way different features interact and depend on each other. The primary emphasis is on analyAng the limited and highly structured sets of choices which are made in producing a sentence or constituent. The exact way in which these choices are “realized” in the final form is a necessary but secondary part of the theory.

Not only does he not say any of this explicitly, but the specific examples that he deals with leave one with no idea of how they can be elaborated into a general theory of human thinking. One can only conclude that the whole theory of frames, as he presents it, is quite vacuous. The nodes permitted are the ones needed for any specific problem. The structures permitted are those that one needs to solve any particular problem. The transformations permitted are those needed in any particular situation.

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