David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Ezio Di Nucci
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Philosophical Explorations 9 (2):221-234 (2006)
A series of representations must be semantics-driven if the members of that series are to combine into a single thought: where semantics is not operative, there is at most a series of disjoint representations that add up to nothing true or false, and therefore do not constitute a thought at all. A consequence is that there is necessarily a gulf between simulating thought, on the one hand, and actually thinking, on the other. A related point is that a popular doctrine - the so-called 'computational theory of mind' (CTM) - is based on a confusion. CTM is the view that thought-processes consist in 'computations', where a computation is defined as a 'form-driven' operation on symbols. The expression 'form-driven operation' is ambiguous, as it may refer either to syntax-driven operations or to morphology-driven operations. Syntax-driven operations presuppose the existence of operations that are driven by semantic and extra-semantic knowledge. So CTM is false if the terms 'computation' and 'form-driven operation' are taken to refer to syntax-driven operations. Thus, if CTM is to work, those expressions must be taken to refer to morphology-driven operations. CTM therefore fails, given that an operation must be semantics-driven if it is to qualify as a thought. CTM therefore fails on each possible disambiguation of the expressions 'formal operation' and 'computation,' and it is therefore false.
|Keywords||Computational Theory Formal Metaphysics Mind Operation Semantics Syntax Thought|
|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
Jerry A. Fodor (1981). Representations: Philosophical Essays on the Foundations of Cognitive Science. MIT Press.
Jerry A. Fodor (1987). Psychosemantics: The Problem of Meaning in the Philosophy of Mind. MIT Press.
Edmund Gettier (1963). Is Justified True Belief Knowledge? Analysis 23 (6):121-123.
Jaegwon Kim (1993). Supervenience and Mind. Cambridge University Press.
John R. Searle (1980). Minds, Brains and Programs. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 3 (3):417-57.
Citations of this work BETA
No citations found.
Similar books and articles
Rick Szostak (2005). Evaluating the Historiography of the Great Depression: Explanation or Single‐Theory Driven? Journal of Economic Methodology 12 (1):35-61.
William J. Rapaport (1995). Understanding Understanding: Syntactic Semantics and Computational Cognition. Philosophical Perspectives 9:49-88.
A. H. Lachlan (1975). Uniform Enumeration Operations. Journal of Symbolic Logic 40 (3):401-409.
Murat Aydede (2000). On the Type/Token Relation of Mental Representations. Facta Philosophica 2 (1):23-50.
Charles E. M. Dunlop (1990). Conceptual Dependency as the Language of Thought. Synthese 82 (2):275-96.
Rolf Schock (1964). Contributions to Syntax, Semantics, and the Philosophy of Science. Notre Dame Journal of Formal Logic 5 (4):241--289.
Murat Aydede (2005). Computation and Functionalism: Syntactic Theory of Mind Revisited. In G. Irzik & G. Guezeldere (eds.), Turkish Studies in the History and Philosophy of Science. Springer
John-Michael M. Kuczynski (2006). Two Concepts of "Form" and the so-Called Computational Theory of Mind. Philosophical Psychology 19 (6):795-821.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads182 ( #18,701 of 1,796,192 )
Recent downloads (6 months)40 ( #21,462 of 1,796,192 )
How can I increase my downloads?