David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (2005)
Over the past thirty years, it is been common to hear the mind likened to a digital computer. This essay is concerned with a particular philosophical view that holds that the mind literally is a digital computer (in a specific sense of “computer” to be developed), and that thought literally is a kind of computation. This view—which will be called the “Computational Theory of Mind” (CTM)—is thus to be distinguished from other and broader attempts to connect the mind with computation, including (a) various enterprises at modeling features of the mind using computational modeling techniques, and (b) employing some feature or features of production-model computers (such as the stored program concept, or the distinction between hardware and software) merely as a guiding metaphor for understanding some feature of the mind. This entry is therefore concerned solely with the Computational Theory of Mind (CTM) proposed by Hilary Putnam  and developed most notably for philosophers by Jerry Fodor [1975, 1980, 1987, 1993]. The senses of ‘computer’ and ‘computation’ employed here are technical; the main tasks of this entry will therefore be to elucidate: (a) the technical sense of ‘computation’ that is at issue, (b) the ways in which it is claimed to be applicable to the mind, (c) the philosophical problems this understanding of the mind is claimed to solve, and (d) the major criticisms that have accrued to this view
|Keywords||No keywords specified (fix it)|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
|Through your library|
References found in this work BETA
No references found.
Citations of this work BETA
Carrie Figdor (2009). Semantic Externalism and the Mechanics of Thought. Minds and Machines 19 (1):1-24.
Similar books and articles
Gualtiero Piccinini (2004). The First Computational Theory of Mind and Brain: A Close Look at McCulloch and Pitts' Logical Calculus of Ideas Immanent in Nervous Activity. Synthese 141 (2):175-215.
Kirk Ludwig & Susan Schneider (2008). Fodor's Challenge to the Classical Computational Theory of Mind. Mind and Language 23 (1):123–143.
Mark Sprevak (2010). Computation and Cognitive Science. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 41 (3):223-226.
Gualtiero Piccinini (2007). Computational Explanation and Mechanistic Explanation of Mind. In Francesco Ferretti, Massimo Marraffa & Mario De Caro (eds.), Synthese. Springer. 343-353.
Mary Litch (1997). Computation, Connectionism and Modelling the Mind. Philosophical Psychology 10 (3):357-364.
Steven Horst (1999). Symbols and Computation: A Critique of the Computational Theory of Mind. Minds and Machines 9 (3):347-381.
Robert A. Wilson (2008). What Computers (Still, Still) Can't Do: Jerry Fodor on Computation and Modularity. In Robert J. Stainton (ed.), New Essays in Philosophy of Language and Mind.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads53 ( #36,855 of 1,679,387 )
Recent downloads (6 months)5 ( #47,978 of 1,679,387 )
How can I increase my downloads?