David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
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
No references found.
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 downloads94 ( #16,313 of 1,679,307 )
Recent downloads (6 months)1 ( #183,793 of 1,679,307 )
How can I increase my downloads?