Stevan Harnad Université du Québec à Montreal, University of Southampton
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  • Faculty, Université du Québec à Montreal
  • Faculty, University of Southampton

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About me
I am a "cognitive scientist" professionally, not a philosopher. But I'm quite good at it (philosophy), so don't be too quick to dismiss me as a nonprofessional...
My works
133 items found.
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  1. Stevan Harnad, First Person Singular: Review Of: Brian Rotman: Becoming Beside Ourselves: Alphabet, Ghosts, Distributed Human Beings. [REVIEW]
    Brian Rotman argues that (one) “mind” and (one) “god” are only conceivable, literally, because of (alphabetic) literacy, which allowed us to designate each of these ghosts as an incorporeal, speaker-independent “I” (or, in the case of infinity, a notional agent that goes on counting forever). I argue that to have a mind is to have the capacity to feel. No one can be sure which organisms feel, hence have minds, but it seems likely that one-celled organisms and plants do not, (...)
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  2. Stevan Harnad, On Fodor on Darwin on Evolution.
    Jerry Fodor argues that Darwin was wrong about "natural selection" because (1) it is only a tautology rather than a scientific law that can support counterfactuals ("If X had happened, Y would have happened") and because (2) only minds can select. Hence Darwin's analogy with "artificial selection" by animal breeders was misleading and evolutionary explanation is nothing but post-hoc historical narrative. I argue that Darwin was right on all counts. Until Darwin's "tautology," it had been believed that either (a) God (...)
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  3. Stevan Harnad (forthcoming). Gold Open Access Publishing Must Not Be Allowed to Retard the Progress of Green Open Access Self-Archiving. Logos.
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  4. Stevan Harnad (2011). Deceiving Ourselves About Self-Deception. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 34 (1):25-26.
    Were we just the Darwinian adaptive survival/reproduction machines von Hippel & Trivers invoke to explain us, the self-deception problem would not only be simpler, but also nonexistent. Why would unconscious robots bother to misinform themselves so as to misinform others more effectively? But as we are indeed conscious rather than unconscious robots, the problem is explaining the causal role of consciousness itself, not just its supererogatory tendency to misinform itself so as to misinform (or perform) better.
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  5. Stevan Harnad (2011). Lunch Uncertain [Review Of: Floridi, Luciano (2011) The Philosophy of Information (Oxford)]. [REVIEW] Times Literary Supplement 5664 (22-23).
    The usual way to try to ground knowing according to contemporary theory of knowledge is: We know something if (1) it’s true, (2) we believe it, and (3) we believe it for the “right” reasons. Floridi proposes a better way. His grounding is based partly on probability theory, and partly on a question/answer network of verbal and behavioural interactions evolving in time. This is rather like modeling the data-exchange between a data-seeker who needs to know which button to press on (...)
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  6. Stevan Harnad (2011). Zen and the Art of Explaining the Mind. International Journal of Machine Consciousness 3 (02):343-348.
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  7. Stevan Harnad (2010). Eliminating the “Concept” Concept. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 33 (2/3):213-214.
    Machery suggests that the concept of is too heterogeneous to serve as a for scientific explanation, so cognitive science should do without concepts. I second the suggestion and propose substituting, in place of concepts, inborn and acquired sensorimotor category-detectors and category-names combined into propositions that define and describe further categories.
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  8. S. Harnad (2008). Validating Research Performance Metrics Against Peer Rankings. Ethics in Science and Environmental Politics 8 (11):103-107.
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  9. Stevan Harnad (2008). Why and How the Problem of the Evolution of Universal Grammar (UG) is Hard. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 31 (5):524-525.
    Christiansen & Chater (C&C) suggest that language is an organism, like us, and that our brains were not selected for Universal Grammar (UG) capacity; rather, languages were selected for learnability with minimal trial-and-error experience by our brains. This explanation is circular: Where did our brain's selective capacity to learn all and only UG-compliant languages come from?
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  10. Stevan Harnad (2007). Creativity : Method or Magic? In Henri Cohen & Brigitte Stemmer (eds.), Consciousness and Cognition: Fragments of Mind and Brain. Elxevier Academic Press.
    Creativity may be a trait, a state or just a process defined by its products. It can be contrasted with certain cognitive activities that are not ordinarily creative, such as problem solving, deduction, induction, learning, imitation, trial and error, heuristics and "abduction," however, all of these can be done creatively too. There are four kinds of theories, attributing creativity respectively to (1) method, (2) "memory" (innate structure), (3) magic or (4) mutation. These theories variously emphasize the role of an unconscious (...)
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  11. Stevan Harnad (2007). Maturana's Autopoietic Hermeneutics Versus Turing's Causal Methodology for Explaining Cognition. [REVIEW] Pragmatics and Cognition 15 (3):599-603.
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  12. Stevan Harnad (2007). Philosophy, Ethics, and Humanities in Medicine. Philosophy, Ethics, and Humanities in Medicine 2:31.
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  13. Stevan Harnad (2007). Ethics of Open Access to Biomedical Research: Just a Special Case of Ethics of Open Access to Research. Philosophy, Ethics, and Humanities in Medicine 2 (1):31.
    The ethical case for Open Access (OA) (free online access) to research findings is especially salient when it is public health that is being compromised by needless access restrictions. But the ethical imperative for OA is far more general: It applies to all scientific and scholarly research findings published in peer-reviewed journals. And peer-to-peer access is far more important than direct public access. Most research is funded so as to be conducted and published, by researchers, in order to be taken (...)
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  14. Stevan Harnad (2006). The Annotation Game: On Turing (1950) on Computing, Machinery, and Intelligence. In Robert Epstein & G. Peters (eds.), [Book Chapter] (in Press). Kluwer.
    This quote/commented critique of Turing's classical paper suggests that Turing meant -- or should have meant -- the robotic version of the Turing Test (and not just the email version). Moreover, any dynamic system (that we design and understand) can be a candidate, not just a computational one. Turing also dismisses the other-minds problem and the mind/body problem too quickly. They are at the heart of both the problem he is addressing and the solution he is proposing.
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  15. Stevan Harnad (2006). The Annotation Game: On Turing (1950) on Computing, Machinery, and Intelligence. In Robert Epstein & Grace Peters (eds.), [Book Chapter] (in Press). Kluwer.
    This quote/commented critique of Turing's classical paper suggests that Turing meant -- or should have meant -- the robotic version of the Turing Test (and not just the email version). Moreover, any dynamic system (that we design and understand) can be a candidate, not just a computational one. Turing also dismisses the other-minds problem and the mind/body problem too quickly. They are at the heart of both the problem he is addressing and the solution he is proposing.
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  16. Stevan Harnad & Itiel Dror (2006). Distributed Cognition: Cognizing, Autonomy and the Turing Test. Pragmatics and Cognition 14 (2):14.
    Some of the papers in this special issue distribute cognition between what is going on inside individual cognizers' heads and their outside worlds; others distribute cognition among different individual cognizers. Turing's criterion for cognition was individual, autonomous input/output capacity. It is not clear that distributed cognition could pass the Turing Test.
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  17. Stevan Harnad & Itiel E. Dror (2006). Distributed Cognition. Special Issue of Pragmatics & Cognition 14: 2 (2006). Pragmatics and Cognition 14 (2):268.
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  18. Stevan Harnad (2005). Broca's Area and Language Evolution. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 28 (4):1-5.
    : Grodzinsky associates Broca's area with three kinds of deficit, relating to articulation, comprehension (involving trace deletion), and production (involving "tree priming"). Could these be special cases of one deficit? Evidence from research on language evolution suggests that they may all involve syllable structure or those aspects of syntax that evolved through exploiting the neural mechanisms underlying syllable structure.
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  19. Stevan Harnad (2005). Distributed Processes, Distributed Cognizers and Collaborative Cognition. [Journal (Paginated)] (in Press) 13 (3):01-514.
    Cognition is thinking; it feels like something to think, and only those who can feel can think. There are also things that thinkers can do. We know neither how thinkers can think nor how they are able do what they can do. We are waiting for cognitive science to discover how. Cognitive science does this by testing hypotheses about what processes can generate what doing (“know-how”) This is called the Turing Test. It cannot test whether a process can generate feeling, (...)
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  20. Stevan Harnad (2005). Language and the Game of Life. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 28 (4):497-498.
    Steels & Belpaeme's (S&B's) simulations contain all the right components, but they are put together wrongly. Color categories are unrepresentative of categories in general and language is not merely naming. Language evolved because it provided a powerful new way to acquire categories (through instruction, rather than just the old way of other species, through trial-and-error experience). It did not evolve so that multiple agents looking at the same objects could let one another know which of the objects they had in (...)
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  21. Stevan Harnad (2005). To Cognize is to Categorize: Cognition is Categorization. In C. Lefebvre & H. Cohen (eds.), Handbook of Categorization. Elsevier.
    2. Invariant Sensorimotor Features ("Affordances"). To say this is not to declare oneself a Gibsonian, whatever that means. It is merely to point out that what a sensorimotor system can do is determined by what can be extracted from its motor interactions with its sensory input. If you lack sonar sensors, then your sensorimotor system cannot do what a bat's can do, at least not without the help of instruments. Light stimulation affords color vision for those of us with the (...)
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  22. Helen Hodges, Stevan Harnad, Barbara L. Finlay & Paul Bloom (2004). In Memoriam: Jeffrey Gray (1934–2004). Behavioral and Brain Sciences 27 (1):1-2.
    Many strands are woven into the ideas and work of Jeffrey Gray. From a background of classical languages and a spell in military intelligence spent honing skills in languages and typing, he took two BA degrees (in modern languages and psychology) at Oxford University. He then trained as a clinical psychologist at the Institute of Psychiatry (IOP), London, capping this with a PhD on the sources of emotional behaviour.
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  23. Stevan Harnad (2003). BBS Valedictory Editorial. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 26:1-2.
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  24. Stevan Harnad (2003). Can a Machine Be Conscious? How? Journal of Consciousness Studies 10 (4):67-75.
    A "machine" is any causal physical system, hence we are machines, hence machines can be conscious. The question is: which kinds of machines can be conscious? Chances are that robots that can pass the Turing Test -- completely indistinguishable from us in their behavioral capacities -- can be conscious (i.e. feel), but we can never be sure (because of the "other-minds" problem). And we can never know HOW they have minds, because of the "mind/body" problem. We can only know how (...)
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  25. Stevan Harnad (2003). Categorical Perception. In L. Nadel (ed.), Encyclopedia of Cognitive Science. Nature Publishing Group. 67--4.
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  26. Stevan Harnad (2003). Minds, Machines, and Searle 2: What's Right and Wrong About the Chinese Room Argument. In John M. Preston & John Mark Bishop (eds.), Views Into the Chinese Room: New Essays on Searle and Artificial Intelligence. Oxford University Press.
    When in 1979 Zenon Pylyshyn, associate editor of Behavioral and Brain Sciences (BBS, a peer commentary journal which I edit) informed me that he had secured a paper by John Searle with the unprepossessing title of [XXXX], I cannot say that I was especially impressed; nor did a quick reading of the brief manuscript -- which seemed to be yet another tedious "Granny Objection"[1] about why/how we are not computers -- do anything to upgrade that impression.
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  27. Stevan Harnad (2003). Symbol‐Grounding Problem. In L. Nadel (ed.), Encyclopedia of Cognitive Science. Nature Publishing Group.
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  28. Stevan Harnad (2003). Valedictory Editorial. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 26 (1):1-1.
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  29. Edward F. Pace-Schott, Mark Solms, Mark Blagrove & Stevan Harnad (eds.) (2003). Sleep and Dreaming: Scientific Advances and Reconsiderations. Cambridge University Press.
    Printbegrænsninger: Der kan printes 10 sider ad gangen og max. 40 sider pr. session.
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  30. Angelo Cangelosi, Alberto Greco & Stevan Harnad (2002). Symbol Grounding and the Symbolic Theft Hypothesis. In A. Cangelosi & D. Parisi (eds.), Simulating the Evolution of Language. Springer-Verlag. 191--210.
    Scholars studying the origins and evolution of language are also interested in the general issue of the evolution of cognition. Language is not an isolated capability of the individual, but has intrinsic relationships with many other behavioral, cognitive, and social abilities. By understanding the mechanisms underlying the evolution of linguistic abilities, it is possible to understand the evolution of cognitive abilities. Cognitivism, one of the current approaches in psychology and cognitive science, proposes that symbol systems capture mental phenomena, and attributes (...)
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  31. Stevan Harnad (2002). Darwin, Skinner, Turing and the Mind. Magyar Pszichologiai Szemle 57 (4):521-528.
    Darwin differs from Newton and Einstein in that his ideas do not require a complicated or deep mind to understand them, and perhaps did not even require such a mind in order to generate them in the first place. It can be explained to any school-child (as Newtonian mechanics and Einsteinian relativity cannot) that living creatures are just Darwinian survival/reproduction machines. They have whatever structure they have through a combination of chance and its consequences: Chance causes changes in the genetic (...)
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  32. Stevan Harnad (2002). Symbol Grounding and the Origin of Language. In Matthias Scheutz (ed.), Computationalism: New Directions. MIT Press.
    What language allows us to do is to "steal" categories quickly and effortlessly through hearsay instead of having to earn them the hard way, through risky and time-consuming sensorimotor "toil" (trial-and-error learning, guided by corrective feedback from the consequences of miscategorisation). To make such linguistic "theft" possible, however, some, at least, of the denoting symbols of language must first be grounded in categories that have been earned through sensorimotor toil (or else in categories that have already been "prepared" for us (...)
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  33. Stevan Harnad (2002). Turing Indistinguishability and the Blind Watchmaker. In James H. Fetzer (ed.), Consciousness Evolving. John Benjamins. 3-18.
    Many special problems crop up when evolutionary theory turns, quite naturally, to the question of the adaptive value and causal role of consciousness in human and nonhuman organisms. One problem is that -- unless we are to be dualists, treating it as an independent nonphysical force -- consciousness could not have had an independent adaptive function of its own, over and above whatever behavioral and physiological functions it "supervenes" on, because evolution is completely blind to the difference between a conscious (...)
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  34. Stevan Harnad (2001). Editorial Commentary. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 24 (5):973-974.
    Let us simplify the problem of “consciousness” or “visual consciousness”: Seeing is feeling. The difference between an optical transducer/effector that merely interacts with optical input, and a conscious system that sees, is that there is something it feels like for that conscious system to see, and that system feels that feeling. All talk about “internal representations” and internal or external difference registration or detection, and so on, is beside the point. The point is that what is seen is felt, not (...)
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  35. Stevan Harnad (2001). Explaining the Mind: Problems, Problems. 41:36-42.
    The mind/body problem is the feeling/function problem: How and why do feeling systems feel? The problem is not just "hard" but insoluble (unless one is ready to resort to telekinetic dualism). Fortunately, the "easy" problems of cognitive science (such as the how and why of categorization and language) are not insoluble. Five books (by Damasio, Edelman/Tononi, McGinn, Tomasello and Fodor) are reviewed in this context.
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  36. Stevan Harnad, Harnad on Dennett on Chalmers on Consciousness: The Mind/Body Problem is the Feeling/Function Problem.
    Why, oh why do we keep conflating this question, which is about the uncertainty of sensory information, with the much more profound and pertinent one, which is about the functional explicability and causal role of feeling?
    _Kant: How is it possible for something even to be a thought (of mine)? What are the conditions for the_
    _possibility of experience (veridical or illusory) at all?_
    That's not the right question either. The right question is not even an epistemic one, (...)
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  37. Stevan Harnad (2001). Minds, Machines and Turing: The Indistinguishability of Indistinguishables. .
    Turing's celebrated 1950 paper proposes a very general methodological criterion for modelling mental function: total functional equivalence and indistinguishability. His criterion gives rise to a hierarchy of Turing Tests, from subtotal ("toy") fragments of our functions (t1), to total symbolic (pen-pal) function (T2 -- the standard Turing Test), to total external sensorimotor (robotic) function (T3), to total internal microfunction (T4), to total indistinguishability in every empirically discernible respect (T5). This is a "reverse-engineering" hierarchy of (decreasing) empirical underdetermination of the theory (...)
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  38. Stevan Harnad (2001). No Easy Way Out. .
    The mind/body problem is the feeling/function problem: How and why do feeling systems feel? The problem is not just "hard" but insoluble (unless one is ready to resort to telekinetic dualism). Fortunately, the "easy" problems of cognitive science (such as the how and why of categorization and language) are not insoluble. Five books (by Damasio, Edelman/Tononi, McGinn, Tomasello and Fodor) are reviewed in this context.
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  39. Stevan Harnad (2001). Rights and Wrongs of Searle's Chinese Room Argument. In M. Bishop & J. Preston (eds.), Essays on Searle's Chinese Room Argument. Oxford University Press.
    "in an academic generation a little overaddicted to "politesse," it may be worth saying that violent destruction is not necessarily worthless and futile. Even though it leaves doubt about the right road for London, it helps if someone rips up, however violently, a.
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  40. Stevan Harnad (2001). What's Wrong and Right About Searle's Chinese Room Argument? In Michael A. Bishop & John M. Preston (eds.), [Book Chapter] (in Press). Oxford University Press.
    Searle's Chinese Room Argument showed a fatal flaw in computationalism (the idea that mental states are just computational states) and helped usher in the era of situated robotics and symbol grounding (although Searle himself thought neuroscience was the only correct way to understand the mind).
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  41. S. Harnad (2000). Minds, Machines and Turing. Journal of Logic, Language and Information 9 (4):425-445.
    Turing's celebrated 1950 paper proposes a very generalmethodological criterion for modelling mental function: total functionalequivalence and indistinguishability. His criterion gives rise to ahierarchy of Turing Tests, from subtotal (toy) fragments of ourfunctions (t1), to total symbolic (pen-pal) function (T2 – the standardTuring Test), to total external sensorimotor (robotic) function (T3), tototal internal microfunction (T4), to total indistinguishability inevery empirically discernible respect (T5). This is areverse-engineering hierarchy of (decreasing) empiricalunderdetermination of the theory by the data. Level t1 is clearly toounderdetermined, T2 (...)
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  42. Stevan Harnad (2000). Correlation Vs. Causality: How/Why the Mind-Body Problem is Hard. Journal of Consciousness Studies 7 (4):54-61.
    The Mind/Body Problem (M/BP) is about causation not correlation. And its solution (if there is one) will require a mechanism in which the mental component somehow manages to play a causal role of its own, rather than just supervening superflously on other, nonmental components that look, for all the world, as if they can do the full causal job perfectly well without it. Correlations confirm that M does indeed "supervene" on B, but causality is needed to show how/why M is (...)
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  43. Stevan Harnad (2000). Minds, Machines and Turing: The Indistinguishability of Indistinguishables. Journal of Logic, Language and Information 9 (4):425-445.
    Turing's celebrated 1950 paper proposes a very general methodological criterion for modelling mental function: total functional equivalence and indistinguishability. His criterion gives rise to a hierarchy of Turing Tests, from subtotal ("toy") fragments of our functions (t1), to total symbolic (pen-pal) function (T2 -- the standard Turing Test), to total external sensorimotor (robotic) function (T3), to total internal microfunction (T4), to total indistinguishability in every empirically discernible respect (T5). This is a "reverse-engineering" hierarchy of (decreasing) empirical underdetermination of the theory (...)
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  44. Stevan Harnad (1999). Turing on Reverse-Engineering the Mind. Journal of Logic, Language, and Information.
     
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  45. Stevan Harnad (1998). Explaining Consciousness: The Hard Problem. Trends in Cognitive Sciences 2 (6):234-235.
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  46. Stevan Harnad (1998). The Hardships of Cognitive Science. .
    Comments on David Chalmers's "hard problem" and some unsuccessful attempts to solve it.
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  47. Bill Roberts, Paul Cordo & Stevan Harnad (1997). Controversies in Neuroscience V: Persistent Pain: Neuronal Mechanisms and Clinical Implications: Introduction. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 20 (3):0-0.
    Pain is not a single entity but is instead a collection of sensory experiences commonly associated with tissue damage. There is growing recognition that not all pains are equivalent, that pains and pathologies are not related in a simple manner, and that acute pains differ in many respects from persistent pains. Great strides have been made in improving our understanding of the neuronal mechanisms responsible for acute pain, but the studies leading to these advances have also led to the realization (...)
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  48. Stevan Harnad (1996). The Origin of Words: A Psychophysical Hypothesis. In [Book Chapter].
    It is hypothesized that words originated as the names of perceptual categories and that two forms of representation underlying perceptual categorization -- iconic and categorical representations -- served to ground a third, symbolic, form of representation. The third form of representation made it possible to name and describe our environment, chiefly in terms of categories, their memberships, and their invariant features. Symbolic representations can be shared because they are intertranslatable. Both categorization and translation are approximate rather than exact, but the (...)
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  49. Paul Cordo & Stevan Harnad (1995). Controversies in Neuroscience III Signal Transduction in the Retina. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 18 (3):401-401.
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  50. Stevan Harnad (1995). A Subversive Proposal. Journal of Consciousness Studies 1.
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  51. Stevan Harnad (1995). Does Mind Piggyback on Robotic and Symbolic Capacity? In H. Morowitz & J. Singer (eds.), The Mind, the Brain, and Complex Adaptive Systems. Addison Wesley.
    Cognitive science is a form of "reverse engineering" (as Dennett has dubbed it). We are trying to explain the mind by building (or explaining the functional principles of) systems that have minds. A "Turing" hierarchy of empirical constraints can be applied to this task, from t1, toy models that capture only an arbitrary fragment of our performance capacity, to T2, the standard "pen-pal" Turing Test (total symbolic capacity), to T3, the Total Turing Test (total symbolic plus robotic capacity), to T4 (...)
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  52. Stevan Harnad (1995). Grounding Symbols in Sensorimotor Categories with Neural Networks. Institute of Electrical Engineers Colloquium on "Grounding Representations.
    It is unlikely that the systematic, compositional properties of formal symbol systems -- i.e., of computation -- play no role at all in cognition. However, it is equally unlikely that cognition is just computation, because of the symbol grounding problem (Harnad 1990): The symbols in a symbol system are systematically interpretable, by external interpreters, as meaning something, and that is a remarkable and powerful property of symbol systems. Cognition (i.e., thinking), has this property too: Our thoughts are systematically interpretable by (...)
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  53. Stevan Harnad (1995). Thoughts as Activation Vectors in Recurrent Nets, or Concentric Epicenters, Or.. Http.
    Churchland underestimates the power and purpose of the Turing Test, dismissing it as the trivial game to which the Loebner Prize (offered for the computer program that can fool judges into thinking it's human) has reduced it, whereas it is really an exacting empirical criterion: It requires that the candidate model for the mind have our full behavioral capacities -- so fully that it is indistinguishable from any of us, to any of us (not just for one Contest night, but (...)
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  54. Stevan Harnad (1995). Why and How We Are Not Zombies. Journal of Consciousness Studies 1 (2):164-167.
    A robot that is functionally indistinguishable from us may or may not be a mindless Zombie. There will never be any way to know, yet its functional principles will be as close as we can ever get to explaining the mind.
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  55. Stevan Harnad (1994). Computation is Just Interpretable Symbol Manipulation; Cognition Isn't. Minds and Machines 4 (4):379-90.
    Computation is interpretable symbol manipulation. Symbols are objects that are manipulated on the basis of rules operating only on theirshapes, which are arbitrary in relation to what they can be interpreted as meaning. Even if one accepts the Church/Turing Thesis that computation is unique, universal and very near omnipotent, not everything is a computer, because not everything can be given a systematic interpretation; and certainly everything can''t be givenevery systematic interpretation. But even after computers and computation have been successfully distinguished (...)
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  56. Stevan Harnad (1994). Guest Editorial: Why and How We Are Not Zombies. Journal of Consciousness Studies 1 (2):164-167.
     
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  57. Stevan Harnad (1994). Levels of Functional Equivalence in Reverse Bioengineering: The Darwinian Turing Test for Artificial Life. Artificial Life 1 (3):93-301.
    Both Artificial Life and Artificial Mind are branches of what Dennett has called "reverse engineering": Ordinary engineering attempts to build systems to meet certain functional specifications, reverse bioengineering attempts to understand how systems that have already been built by the Blind Watchmaker work. Computational modelling (virtual life) can capture the formal principles of life, perhaps predict and explain it completely, but it can no more be alive than a virtual forest fire can be hot. In itself, a computational model is (...)
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  58. Stevan Harnad (1994). Preface. Minds and Machines 4 (4):377-378.
  59. Stevan Harnad (1994). Why and How We Are Not Zombies. Journal of Consciousness Studies 1 (2):164-67.
    A robot that is functionally indistinguishable from us may or may not be a mindless Zombie. There will never be any way to know, yet its functional principles will be as close as we can ever get to explaining the mind.
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  60. Stevan Harnad (1993). Artificial Life: Synthetic Versus Virtual. .
    Artificial life can take two forms: synthetic and virtual. In principle, the materials and properties of synthetic living systems could differ radically from those of natural living systems yet still resemble them enough to be really alive if they are grounded in the relevant causal interactions with the real world. Virtual (purely computational) "living" systems, in contrast, are just ungrounded symbol systems that are systematically interpretable as if they were alive; in reality they are no more alive than a virtual (...)
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  61. Stevan Harnad (1993). Discussion (Passim). In G. R. Bock & James L. Marsh (eds.), [Book Chapter]. (Ciba Foundation Symposium 174).
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  62. Stevan Harnad (1993). Exorcizing the Ghost of Mental Imagery. Computational Intelligence 9 (4):337-339.
    The problem seems apparent even in Glasgow's term ``depict'', which is used by way of contrast with ``describe''. Now ``describe'' refers relatively unproblematically to strings of symbols, such as those in this written sentence, that are systematically interpretable as propositions describing objects, events, or states of affairs. But what does ``depict'' mean? In the case of a picture -- whether a photo or a diagram -- it is clear what depict means. A picture is an object (I will argue below (...)
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  63. Stevan Harnad (1993). Grounding Symbols in the Analog World with Neural Nets. Think 2 (1):12-78.
    Harnad's main argument can be roughly summarised as follows: due to Searle's Chinese Room argument, symbol systems by themselves are insufficient to exhibit cognition, because the symbols are not grounded in the real world, hence without meaning. However, a symbol system that is connected to the real world through transducers receiving sensory data, with neural nets translating these data into sensory categories, would not be subject to the Chinese Room argument. Harnad's article is not only the starting point for the (...)
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  64. Stevan Harnad (1993). L'ancrage Des Symboles Dans le Monde Analogique a l'Aide de Reseaux Neuronaux: Un Modele Hybride. .
    Le modele d'ancrage propose ici est simple a recapituler. Les projections sensorielles analogiques sont les intrants des reseaux neuronaux qui doivent apprendre a connecter certaines des projections avec certains symboles (le nom de leur categorie) et certaines autres projections avec d'autres symboles (les noms d'autres categories pouvant se confondre les unes aux autres), en trouvant et en utilisant les invariants qui les representent de facon a favoriser l'accomplissement d'une categorisation juste. Les symboles ancres sont alors enfiles dans des combinaisons d'ordre (...)
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  65. Stevan Harnad (1992). Connecting Object to Symbol in Modeling Cognition. In A. Clark & Ronald Lutz (eds.), Connectionism in Context. Springer-Verlag. 75--90.
    Connectionism and computationalism are currently vying for hegemony in cognitive modeling. At first glance the opposition seems incoherent, because connectionism is itself computational, but the form of computationalism that has been the prime candidate for encoding the "language of thought" has been symbolic computationalism (Dietrich 1990, Fodor 1975, Harnad 1990c; Newell 1980; Pylyshyn 1984), whereas connectionism is nonsymbolic (Fodor & Pylyshyn 1988, or, as some have hopefully dubbed it, "subsymbolic" Smolensky 1988). This paper will examine what is and is not (...)
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  66. Stevan Harnad, There is Only One Mind/Body Problem.
    In our century a Frege/Brentano wedge has gradually been driven into the mind/body problem so deeply that it appears to have split it into two: The problem of "qualia" and the problem of "intentionality." Both problems use similar intuition pumps: For qualia, we imagine a robot that is indistinguishable from us in every objective respect, but it lacks subjective experiences; it is mindless. For intentionality, we again imagine a robot that is indistinguishable from us in every objective respect but its (...)
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  67. Stevan Harnad (1992). The Turing Test is Not a Trick: Turing Indistinguishability is a Scientific Criterion. 3 (4):9-10.
    It is important to understand that the Turing Test (TT) is not, nor was it intended to be, a trick; how well one can fool someone is not a measure of scientific progress. The TT is an empirical criterion: It sets AI's empirical goal to be to generate human-scale performance capacity. This goal will be met when the candidate's performance is totally indistinguishable from a human's. Until then, the TT simply represents what it is that AI must endeavor eventually (...)
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  68. Stevan Harnad (1992). Virtual Symposium on Virtual Mind. Minds and Machines 2 (3):217-238.
    When certain formal symbol systems (e.g., computer programs) are implemented as dynamic physical symbol systems (e.g., when they are run on a computer) their activity can be interpreted at higher levels (e.g., binary code can be interpreted as LISP, LISP code can be interpreted as English, and English can be interpreted as a meaninguful conversation). These higher levels of interpretability are called ‘virtual’ systems. If such a virtual system is interpretable as if it had a mind, is such a ‘virtual (...)
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  69. Patrick Hayes, Stevan Harnad, Donald R. Perlis & Ned Block (1992). Virtual Symposium on Virtual Mind. Minds and Machines 2 (3):217-238.
    When certain formal symbol systems (e.g., computer programs) are implemented as dynamic physical symbol systems (e.g., when they are run on a computer) their activity can be interpreted at higher levels (e.g., binary code can be interpreted as LISP, LISP code can be interpreted as English, and English can be interpreted as a meaningful conversation). These higher levels of interpretability are called "virtual" systems. If such a virtual system is interpretable as if it had a mind, is such a "virtual (...)
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  70. Stevan Harnad (1991). Other Bodies, Other Minds: A Machine Incarnation of an Old Philosophical Problem. [REVIEW] Minds and Machines 1 (1):43-54.
    Explaining the mind by building machines with minds runs into the other-minds problem: How can we tell whether any body other than our own has a mind when the only way to know is by being the other body? In practice we all use some form of Turing Test: If it can do everything a body with a mind can do such that we can't tell them apart, we have no basis for doubting it has a mind. But what is (...)
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  71. Stevan Harnad (1991). Post-Gutenberg Galaxy: The Fourth Revolution in the Means of Production of Knowledge. .
    The 4th revolution after speech, writing and print, is skywriting (email, hypermail, web-based archiving).
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  72. 1Imre Balogh, Brian Beakley, Paul Churchland, Michael Gorman, Stevan Harnad, David Mertz, H. H. Pattee, William Ramsey, John Ringen, Georg Schwarz, Brian Slator, Alan Strudler & Charles Wallis (1990). Responses to 'Computationalism'. Social Epistemology 4 (2):155 – 199.
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  73. Stevan Harnad (1990). Against Computational Hermeneutics. Social Epistemology 4:167-172.
    Critique of Computationalism as merely projecting hermeneutics (i.e., meaning originating from the mind of an external interpreter) onto otherwise intrinsically meaningless symbols.
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  74. Stevan Harnad (1990). Lost in the Hermeneutic Hall of Mirrors. 2:321-27.
    Critique of Computationalism as merely projecting hermeneutics (i.e., meaning originating from the mind of an external interpreter) onto otherwise intrinsically meaningless symbols. Projecting an interpretation onto a symbol system results in its being reflected back, in a spuriously self-confirming way.
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  75. Stevan Harnad (1990). Scholarly Skywriting and the Prepublication Continuum of Scientific Inquiry [Reprinted in Current Contents 45: 9-13, November 11 1991]. [REVIEW] .
    Scientific publication is a continuum, from unrefereed preprints to refereed reprints, to revisions, commentaries, and replies. All this is optimally done electronically, as "Scholarly Skywriting.".
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  76. Stevan Harnad (1990). The Symbol Grounding Problem. 42:335-346.
    There has been much discussion recently about the scope and limits of purely symbolic models of the mind and about the proper role of connectionism in cognitive modeling. This paper describes the symbol grounding problem: How can the semantic interpretation of a formal symbol system be made intrinsic to the system, rather than just parasitic on the meanings in our heads? How can the meanings of the meaningless symbol tokens, manipulated solely on the basis of their (arbitrary) shapes, be grounded (...)
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  77. Stevan Harnad (1989). Minds, Machines and Searle. Journal of Experimental and Theoretical Artificial Intelligence 1 (4):5-25.
    Searle's celebrated Chinese Room Argument has shaken the foundations of Artificial Intelligence. Many refutations have been attempted, but none seem convincing. This paper is an attempt to sort out explicitly the assumptions and the logical, methodological and empirical points of disagreement. Searle is shown to have underestimated some features of computer modeling, but the heart of the issue turns out to be an empirical question about the scope and limits of the purely symbolic (computational) model of the mind. Nonsymbolic modeling (...)
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  78. Stevan Harnad (1989). Minds, Machines and Searle. .
    Searle's celebrated Chinese Room Argument has shaken the foundations of Artificial Intelligence. Many refutations have been attempted, but none seem convincing. This paper is an attempt to sort out explicitly the assumptions and the logical, methodological and empirical points of disagreement. Searle is shown to have underestimated some features of computer modeling, but the heart of the issue turns out to be an empirical question about the scope and limits of the purely symbolic (computational) model of the mind. Nonsymbolic modeling (...)
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  79. Stevan Harnad (1987). [Book Chapter].
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  80. Stevan Harnad (1987). Category Induction and Representation. In [Book Chapter].
    A provisional model is presented in which categorical perception (CP) provides our basic or elementary categories. In acquiring a category we learn to label or identify positive and negative instances from a sample of confusable alternatives. Two kinds of internal representation are built up in this learning by "acquaintance": (1) an iconic representation that subserves our similarity judgments and (2) an analog/digital feature-filter that picks out the invariant information allowing us to categorize the instances correctly. This second, categorical representation is (...)
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  81. Stevan Harnad (1985). Hebb, DO-Father of Cognitive Psychobiology 1904-1985. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 8 (4):765.
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  82. A. C. Catania & S. Harnad (1984). Behavior and the Selective Role of the Environment. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 7:473-724.
     
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  83. Stevan Harnad (1984). Verifying Machines' Minds. [REVIEW] Contemporary Psychology 29:389 - 391.
    he question of the possibility of artificial consciousness is both very new and very old. It is new in the context of contemporary cognitive science and its concern with whether a machine can be conscious; it is old in the form of the mind/body problem and the "other minds" problem of philosophy. Contemporary enthusiasts proceed at their peril if they ignore or are ignorant of the false starts and blind alleys that the older thinkers have painfully worked through.
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  84. Stevan Harnad (1984). What Are the Scope and Limits of Radical Behaviorist Theory? Behavioral and Brain Sciences 7 (4):720.
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  85. Stevan Harnad (1982). Consciousness: An Afterthought. Cognition and Brain Theory 5:29-47.
    There are many possible approaches to the mind/brain problem. One of the most prominent, and perhaps the most practical, is to ignore it.
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  86. Stevan Harnad (1982). Language, Mind, And Brain. Hillsdale: Erlbaum.
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  87. Stevan Harnad (1982). Metaphor and Mental Duality. In Language, Mind, And Brain. Hillsdale: Erlbaum.
    I am going to attempt to argue, given certain premises, there are reasons, not only empirical, but also logical, for expecting a certain division of labor in the processing of information by the human brain. This division of labor consists specifically of a functional bifurcation into what may be called, to a first approximation, "verbal" and "nonverbal" modes of information- processing. That this dichotomy is not quite satisfactory, however, will be one of the principal conclusions of this chapter, for I (...)
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  88. Stevan Harnad (1982). Neoconstructivism: A Unifying Constraint for the Cognitive Sciences. In Thomas W. Simon & Robert J. Scholes (eds.), [Book Chapter]. Lawrence Erlbaum. 1-11.
    Behavioral scientists studied behavior; cognitive scientists study what generates behavior. Cognitive science is hence theoretical behaviorism (or behaviorism is experimental cognitivism). Behavior is data for a cognitive theorist. What counts as a theory of behavior? In this paper, a methodological constraint on theory construction -- "neoconstructivism" -- will be proposed (by analogy with constructivism in mathematics): Cognitive theory must be computable; given an encoding of the input to a behaving system, a theory must be able to compute (an encoding of) (...)
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  89. Stevan Harnad, Computational Hermeneutics.
    We must distinguish between what can be described or interpreted as X and what really is X. Otherwise we are just doing hermeneutics. It won't do simply to declare that the thermostat turns on the furnace because it feels cold or that the chess-playing computer program makes a move because it thinks it should get its queen out early. In what does real feeling and thinking consist?
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  90. Stevan Harnad, Experimental Analysis of Naming Behavior Cannot Explain Naming Capacity.
    The experimental analysis of naming behavior can tell us exactly the kinds of things Horne & Lowe (H & L) report here: (1) the conditions under which people and animals succeed or fail in naming things and (2) the conditions under which bidirectional associations are formed between inputs (objects, pictures of objects, seen or heard names of objects) and outputs (spoken names of objects, multimodal operations on objects). The "stimulus equivalence" that H & L single out is really just the (...)
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  91. Stevan Harnad, Fast-Forward on the Green Road to Open Access: The Case Against Mixing Up Green and Gold.
    This article is a critique of: The "Green" and "Gold" Roads to Open Access: The Case for Mixing and Matching by Jean-Claude Guédon [1].
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  92. Stevan Harnad, Grounding Symbolic Capacity in Robotic Capacity.
    According to "computationalism" (Newell, 1980; Pylyshyn 1984; Dietrich 1990), mental states are computational states, so if one wishes to build a mind, one is actually looking for the right program to run on a digital computer. A computer program is a semantically interpretable formal symbol system consisting of rules for manipulating symbols on the basis of their shapes, which are arbitrary in relation to what they can be systematically interpreted as meaning. According to computationalism, every physical implementation of the right (...)
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  93. Stevan Harnad, Grounding Symbols in the Analog World with Neural Nets a Hybrid Model.
    1.1 The predominant approach to cognitive modeling is still what has come to be called "computationalism" (Dietrich 1990, Harnad 1990b), the hypothesis that cognition is computation. The more recent rival approach is "connectionism" (Hanson & Burr 1990, McClelland & Rumelhart 1986), the hypothesis that cognition is a dynamic pattern of connections and activations in a "neural net." Are computationalism and connectionism really deeply different from one another, and if so, should they compete for cognitive hegemony, or should they collaborate? These (...)
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  94. Stevan Harnad, Interactive Cognition: Exploring the Potential of Electronic Quote/Commenting.
    Human cognition is not an island unto itself. As a species, we are not Leibnizian Monads independently engaging in clear, Cartesian thinking. Our minds interact. That's surely why our species has language. And that interactivity probably constrains both what and how we think.
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  95. Stevan Harnad, Lively Flights of Fancy.
    Suppose Boeing 747s grew on trees. They would first sprout as embryonic planes, the size of an acorn. Then they would grow until they reached full size, when they would plop off the trees, ready to fly. Suppose also that we knew how to feed and care for them, how to make minor repairs, and of course how to fly them. But let us suppose that all of this transpired at a very early stage in our scientific history, when we (...)
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  96. Stevan Harnad, Learned Inquiry and the Net: The Role of Peer Review, Peer Commentary and Copyright.
    Peer Review and Copyright each have a double role: Formal refereeing protects (R1) the author from publishing and (R2) the reader from reading papers that are not of sufficient quality. Copyright protects the author from (C1) theft of text and (C2) theft of authorship. It has been suggested that in the electronic medium we can dispense with peer review, "publish" everything, and let browsing and commentary do the quality control. It has also been suggested that special safeguards and laws may (...)
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  97. Stevan Harnad, Rachel Pevtzow.
    In innate Categorical Perception (CP) (e.g., colour perception), similarity space is "warped," with regions of increased within-category similarity (compression) and regions of reduced between-category similarity (separation) enh ancing the category boundaries and making categorisation reliable and all-or-none rather than graded. We show that category learning can likewise warp similarity space, resolving uncertainty near category boundaries. Two Hard and two Easy texture learning tasks were compared: As predicted, there were fewer successful Learners with the Hard task, and only the successful Learners (...)
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  98. Stevan Harnad, Symbols and Nets: Cooperation Vs Competition.
    This is a paperback reissue of a 1988 special issue of Cognition - dated but still of interest. The book consists of three chapters, each making one major negative point about connectionism. Fodor & Pylyshyn (F&P) argue that connectionist networks (henceforth 'nets') are not good models for cognition because they lack 'systematicity', Pinker & Price (P&P) argue that nets are not good substitutes for rule-based models of linguistic ability, and Lachter & Bever (L&B) argue that nets can only model the (...)
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  99. Stevan Harnad, The Case Against Mixing Up Green and Gold.
    This article is a critique of: The "Green" and "Gold" Roads to Open Access: The Case for Mixing and Matching Jean-Claude Guédon Serials Review 30(4) 2004 http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.serrev.2004.09.005 Open Access (OA) means: free online access to all peer-reviewed journal articles.
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  100. Stevan Harnad, There is No Concrete.
    We are accustomed to thinking that a primrose is "concrete" and a prime number is "abstract," that "roundness" is more abstract than "round," and that "property" is more abstract than "roundness." In reality, the relation between "abstract" and "concrete" is more like the (non)relation between "abstract" and "concave," "concrete" being a sensory term [about what something feels like] and "abstract" being a functional term (about what the sensorimotor system is doing with its input in order to produce its output): Feelings (...)
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  101. Stevan Harnad, The Mind/Body Problem Is the Feeling/Function Problem.
    The mind/body problem is the feeling/function problem (Harnad 2001). The only way to "solve" it is to provide a causal/functional explanation of how and why we feel..
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  102. Stevan Harnad, The Timing of a Conscious Decision: From Ear to Mouth.
    Libet, Gleason, Wright, & Pearl (1983) asked participants to report the moment at which they freely decided to initiate a pre-specified movement, based on the position of a red marker on a clock. Using event-related potentials (ERPs), Libet found that the subjective feeling of deciding to perform a voluntary action came after the onset of the motor “readiness potential,” RP). This counterintuitive conclusion poses a challenge for the philosophical notion of free will. Faced with these findings, Libet (1985) proposed that (...)
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  103. Stevan Harnad, Uncomplemented Categories, or, What is It Like to Be a Bachelor?
    Maybe it's just because hermeneutics is so much in vogue these days, but I've lately come to believe that the secret of the meaning of life is revealed by certain jokes from the state of Maine. The pertinent one on this occasion (and some of you will recognize it as one I've invoked before) is the one that goes "How's your wife? to which the appropriate deadpan downeaster reply is: "Compared to what?".
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  104. Stevan Harnad, Waking OA's “Slumbering Giant”: The University's Mandate To Mandate Open Access.
    SUMMARY: Universities (the universal research-providers) as well as research funders (public and private) are beginning to make it part of their mandates to ensure not only that researchers conduct and publish peer-reviewed research (“publish or perish”), but that they also make it available online, free for all. This is called Open Access (OA), and it maximizes the uptake, impact and progress of research by making it accessible to all potential users worldwide, not just those whose universities can afford to subscribe (...)
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  105. Stevan Harnad & Paul Bloom, In Response to This Article Rejection.
    Harmonic Resonance Theory: An alternative to the "Neuron Doctrine" paradigm of neurocomputation to address the Gestalt properties of perception.
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  106. Stevan Harnad & SJ Hanson, Categorical Perception and the Evolution of Supervised Learning in Neural Nets.
    Some of the features of animal and human categorical perception (CP) for color, pitch and speech are exhibited by neural net simulations of CP with one-dimensional inputs: When a backprop net is trained to discriminate and then categorize a set of stimuli, the second task is accomplished by "warping" the similarity space (compressing within-category distances and expanding between-category distances). This natural side-effect also occurs in humans and animals. Such CP categories, consisting of named, bounded regions of similarity space, may be (...)
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  107. Stevan Harnad & Stephen J. Hanson, Learned Categorical Perception in Neural Nets: Implications for Symbol Grounding.
    After people learn to sort objects into categories they see them differently. Members of the same category look more alike and members of different categories look more different. This phenomenon of within-category compression and between-category separation in similarity space is called categorical perception (CP). It is exhibited by human subjects, animals and neural net models. In backpropagation nets trained first to auto-associate 12 stimuli varying along a onedimensional continuum and then to sort them into 3 categories, CP arises as a (...)
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  108. Leslie Carr & Stevan Harnad, Evidence of Hypertext in the Scholarly Archive.
    Dalgaard's recent article [3] argues that the part of the Web that constitutes the scientific literature is composed of increasingly linked archives. He describes the move in the online communications of the scientific community towards an expanding zone of secondorder textuality, of an evolving network of texts commenting on, citing, classifying, abstracting, listing and revising other texts. In this respect, archives are becoming a network of texts rather than simply a classified collection of texts. He emphasizes the definition of hypertext (...)
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  109. Stevan Harnad, Creative Disagreement.
    Do scientists agree? It is not only unrealistic to suppose that they do, but probably just as unrealistic to think that they ought to. Agreement is for what is already established scientific history. The current and vital ongoing aspect of science consists of an active and often heated interaction of data, ideas and minds, in a process one might call "creative disagreement." The "scientific method" is largely derived from a reconstruction based on selective hindsight. What actually goes on has much (...)
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  110. Stevan Harnad, Computers Don't Follow Instructions.
    Harnad accepts the picture of computation as formalism, so that any implementation of a program - thats any implementation - is as good as any other; in fact, in considering claims about the properties of computations, the nature of the implementing system - the interpreter - is invisible. Let me refer to this idea as 'Computationalism'. Almost all the criticism, claimed refutation by Searle's argument, and sharp contrasting of this idea with others, rests on the absoluteness of this separation between (...)
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  111. Stevan Harnad, Free at Last: The Future of Peer Reviewed Journals.
    I have a feeling that when Posterity looks back at the last decade of the 2nd A.D. millennium of scholarly and scientific research on our planet, it may chuckle at us. It is not the pace of our scholarly and scientific research that will look risible, nor the tempo of technological change. On the contrary, the astonishing speed and scale of both will make the real anomaly look all the more striking.
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  112. Stevan Harnad, From Sensorimotor Praxis and Pantomime to Symbolic Propositions.
    What lies on the two sides of the linguistic divide is fairly clear: On one side, you have organisms buffeted about to varying degrees, depending on their degree of autonomy and plasticity, by the states of affairs in the world they live in. On the other side, you have organisms capable of describing and explaining the states of affairs in the world they live in. Language is what distinguishes one side from the other. How did we get here from there? (...)
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  113. Stevan Harnad, Learning Word Meaning From Dictionary Definitions: Sensorimotor Induction Precedes Verbal Instruction.
    Almost all words are the names of categories. We can learn most of our words (and hence our categories) from dictionary definitions, but not all of them. Some have to be learned from direct experience. To understand a word from its definition we need to already understand the words used in the definition. This is the “Symbol Grounding Problem” [1]. How many words (and which ones) do we need to ground directly in sensorimotor experience in order to be able to (...)
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  114. Stevan Harnad, Mind in Society: Where the Action Is?
    In his chapter titled "Consciousness, Charles Taylor suggests that the traditional mind/body, mental/physical dichotomy is an undesirable legacy of the seventeenth century. Its faults are that it gives rise to a dualism that must then be resolved in various unsatisfactory ways. The most prevalent of these ways is currently "functionalism," which explains cognition in terms of functional states and processes like those of a computer and "marginalizes" (i.e., minimizes or denies completely the causal role of) consciousness. The alternative, "interactionism," gives (...)
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  115. Stevan Harnad, Maximizing Research Progress Through Open Access Mandates and Metrics.
    Research is done (mostly at universities) and funded (publicly and privately) in order to advance scientific and scholarly knowledge as well as to produce public benefits (technological and biomedical applications as well as educational and cultural ones). Research and researchers are accordingly funded not only to conduct their research, but to make their findings public, by publishing them. Their employment, salaries, careers and research funding depend on publishing their findings. This is what is often called "publish or perish.".
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  116. Stevan Harnad, Maximizing University Research Impact Through Self Archiving.
    To appreciate what a huge difference there is between the author of a peer reviewed journal article and just about any other kind of author we need only remind ourselves why universities have their "publish or perish" policy: Aside from imparting existing knowledge to students through teaching, the work of a university scholar or scientist is devoted to creating new knowledge for other scholars and scientists to use, apply, and build upon, for the benefit of us all. Creating new knowledge (...)
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  117. Stevan Harnad, Psychophysical and Cognitive Aspects of Categorical Perception:A Critical Overview.
    There are many entry points into the problem of categorization. Two particularly important ones are the so-called top-down and bottom-up approaches. Top-down approaches such as artificial intelligence begin with the symbolic names and descriptions for some categories already given; computer programs are written to manipulate the symbols. Cognitive modeling involves the further assumption that such symbol-interactions resemble the way our brains do categorization. An explicit expectation of the top-down approach is that it will eventually join with the bottom-up approach, which (...)
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  118. Stevan Harnad, Publish or Perish - Self Archive to Flourish: The Green Route to Open Access.
    Europe is losing almost 50% of the potential return on its research investment until research funders and institutions mandate that all research findings must be made freely accessible to all would be users, webwide. It is not the number of articles published that reflects the return on Europe's research investment: A piece of research, if it is worth funding and doing at all, must not only be published, but used, applied and built upon by other researchers, worldwide. This is called (...)
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  119. Stevan Harnad, Self Archive Unto Others as Ye Would Have Them Self Archive Unto You.
    Scholars and scientists do research to create new knowledge so that other scholars and scientists can use it to create still more new knowledge and to apply it to improving people's lives. They are paid to do research, but not to report their research: That they do for free, because it is not royalty revenue from their research papers but their "research impact" that pays their salaries, funds their further research, earns them prestige and prizes, etc.
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  120. Stevan Harnad, Searle's Chinese Room Argument.
    Computationalism. According to computationalism, to explain how the mind works, cognitive science needs to find out what the right computations are -- the same ones that the brain performs in order to generate the mind and its capacities. Once we know that, then every system that performs those computations will have those mental states: Every computer that runs the mind's program will have a mind, because computation is hardware independent : Any hardware that is running the right program has the (...)
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  121. Stevan Harnad, Spare Me the Complements: An Immoderate Proposal for Eliminating the "We/They" Category Boundary.
    Certain biological facts are undeniable: Any creature born with a tendency to ignore the calls of nature -- not to eat when hungry, not to mate when horny, not to flee when in harm's way -- would not pass on that unfortunate tendency. Such a creature would instead be the first in a long line of extinct descendents. Maladaptive traits are eliminated from the gene pool by the very definition of what it means to be maladaptive.
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  122. Stevan Harnad, Scholarly Skywriting and the Prepublicationcontinuum of Scientific Inquiry.
    William Gardner's (1990) proposal to establish a searchable, retrievable electronic archive is fine, as far as it goes (though he seems to have missed some of the relevant background literature, e.g. Engelbart 1975, 1984a, b; Schatz, 1985, 1987, 1991). The potential role of electronic networks in scientific publication, however, goes far beyond providing searchable electronic archives for electronic journals. The whole process of scholarly communication is currently undergoing a revolution comparable to the one occasioned by the invention of printing. On (...)
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  123. Stevan Harnad, Sky Writing.
    I want to report a thoroughly (perhaps surreally) modern experience I had recently. First a little context. I've always been a zealous scholarly letter writer (to the point of once being cited in print as "personal communication, pp. 14 - 20"). These days few share my epistolary penchant, which is dismissed as a doomed anachronism. Scholars don't have the time. Inquiry is racing forward much too rapidly for such genteel dawdling -- forward toward, among other things, due credit in print (...)
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  124. Stevan Harnad, The Ttt is Not the Final Word.
    My purpose is to explain, first, that there is an alternative to Harnad's version of the symbol grounding problem, which is known as the problem of primitives; second, that there is an alternative to his solution (which is externalist) in the form of a dispositional conception (which is internalist); and, third, that, while the TTT, properly understood, may provide partial and fallible evidence for the presence of similar mental powers, it cannot supply conclusive proof, because more than observable symbolic manipuation (...)
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  125. Stevan Harnad, The Causal Topography of Cognition.
    The causal structure of cognition can be simulated but not implemented computationally, just as the causal structure of a furnace can be simulated but not implemented computationally. Heating is a dynamical property, not a computational one. A computational simulation of a furnace cannot heat a real house (only a simulated house). It lacks the essential causal property of a furnace. This is obvious with computational furnaces. The only thing that allows us even to imagine that it is otherwise in the (...)
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  126. Stevan Harnad, Doing, Feeling, Meaning And Explaining.
    It is “easy” to explain doing, “hard” to explain feeling. Turing has set the agenda for the easy explanation (though it will be a long time coming). I will try to explain why and how explaining feeling will not only be hard, but impossible. Explaining meaning will prove almost as hard because meaning is a hybrid of know-how and what it feels like to know how.
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  127. Stevan Harnad, Minds, Brains and Turing.
    Turing set the agenda for (what would eventually be called) the cognitive sciences. He said, essentially, that cognition is as cognition does (or, more accurately, as cognition is capable of doing): Explain the causal basis of cognitive capacity and you’ve explained cognition. Test your explanation by designing a machine that can do everything a normal human cognizer can do – and do it so veridically that human cognizers cannot tell its performance apart from a real human cognizer’s – and you (...)
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  128. Stevan Harnad, Descartes' Baby, the Soul and Art.
    The notion of an immaterial, immortal "soul" is just a vague telekinetic theory to fill an unfillable explanatory gap in our understanding of the causal role of feelings.
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  129. Stevan Harnad, What is Consciousness?
    Exchange with John Searle on How/Why some functions are felt functions.
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  130. Stevan Harnad, Spielberg's Ai: Another Cuddly No-Brainer.
    AI is about a "robot" boy who is "programmed" to love his adoptive human mother but is discriminated against because he is just a robot. I put both "robot" and "programmed" in scarequotes, because these are the two things that should have been given more thought before making the movie. (Most of this critique also applies to the short story by Brian Aldiss that inspired the movie, but the buck stops with the film as made, and its maker.).
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  131. Stevan Harnad, The Mind/Body Problem is the Feeling/Function Problem: Harnad on Dennett on Chalmers.
    The mind/body problem is the feeling/function problem (Harnad 2001). The only way to "solve" it is to provide a causal/functional explanation of how and why we feel..
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  132. Stevan Harnad, What to Do About Feelings?
    That Psyche should be a virtual journal, somewhat "immaterial," is quite in keeping with its subject matter. And just as there will be differences of opinion about Psyche's disembodied content, there will be differences of opinion about its disembodied form.
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  133. Stevan Harnad, Symbol Grounding is an Empirical Problem: Neural Nets Are Just a Candidate Component.
    "Symbol Grounding" is beginning to mean too many things to too many people. My own construal has always been simple: Cognition cannot be just computation, because computation is just the systematically interpretable manipulation of meaningless symbols, whereas the meanings of my thoughts don't depend on their interpretability or interpretation by someone else. On pain of infinite regress, then, symbol meanings must be grounded in something other than just their interpretability if they are to be candidates for what is going on (...)
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