Minds, machines and Turing

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 is vulnerable to a counterexample (Searle's ChineseRoom Argument), and T4 and T5 are arbitrarily overdetermined. Hence T3is the appropriate target level for cognitive science. When it isreached, however, there will still remain more unanswerable questionsthan when Physics reaches its Grand Unified Theory of Everything (GUTE),because of the mind/body problem and the other-minds problem, both ofwhich are inherent in this empirical domain, even though Turing hardlymentions them.
Keywords cognitive neuroscience  cognitive science  computation  computationalism  consciousness  dynamical systems  epiphenomenalism  intelligence  machines  mental models  mind/body problem  other minds problem  philosophy of science  qualia  reverse engineering  robotics  Searle  symbol grounding  theory of mind  thinking  Turing  underdetermination  Zombies
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DOI 10.1023/A:1008315308862
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