David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Ezio Di Nucci
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Philosophical Psychology 19 (6):795-821 (2006)
According to the computational theory of mind , to think is to compute. But what is meant by the word 'compute'? The generally given answer is this: Every case of computing is a case of manipulating symbols, but not vice versa - a manipulation of symbols must be driven exclusively by the formal properties of those symbols if it is qualify as a computation. In this paper, I will present the following argument. Words like 'form' and 'formal' are ambiguous, as they can refer to form in either the syntactic or the morphological sense. CTM fails on each disambiguation, and the arguments for CTM immediately cease to be compelling once we register that ambiguity. The terms 'mechanical' and 'automatic' are comparably ambiguous. Once these ambiguities are exposed, it turns out that there is no possibility of mechanizing thought, even if we confine ourselves to domains where all problems can be settled through decision-procedures. The impossibility of mechanizing thought thus has nothing to do with recherché mathematical theorems, such as those proven by Gödel and Rosser. A related point is that CTM involves, and is guilty of reinforcing, a misunderstanding of the concept of an algorithm
|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
Joseph Almog, John Perry & Howard K. Wettstein (eds.) (1989). Themes From Kaplan. Oxford University Press, Usa.
Jerry A. Fodor (1981). Representations: Philosophical Essays on the Foundations of Cognitive Science. MIT Press.
Jerry A. Fodor (1975). The Language of Thought. Harvard University Press.
Jerry A. Fodor (1998). Concepts: Where Cognitive Science Went Wrong. Oxford University Press.
Citations of this work BETA
No citations found.
Similar books and articles
Kirk Ludwig & Susan Schneider (2008). Fodor's Challenge to the Classical Computational Theory of Mind. Mind and Language 23 (1):123–143.
Peter Novak (1998). Logic and the Classical Theory of Mind. Journal of Philosophical Logic 27 (4):389-434.
Steven Horst (1999). Symbols and Computation: A Critique of the Computational Theory of Mind. Minds and Machines 9 (3):347-381.
Steven Horst, The Computational Theory of Mind. Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
Susan Schneider (2007). Yes, It Does: A Diatribe on Jerry Fodor's the Mind Doesn't Work That Way. Psyche.
Gualtiero Piccinini (2007). Computational Explanation and Mechanistic Explanation of Mind. In Francesco Ferretti, Massimo Marraffa & Mario De Caro (eds.), Synthese. Springer 343-353.
Susan Schneider (2009). LOT, CTM, and the Elephant in the Room. Synthese 170 (2):235 - 250.
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). Formal Operations and Simulated Thought. Philosophical Explorations 9 (2):221-234.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads163 ( #20,320 of 1,789,999 )
Recent downloads (6 months)38 ( #21,546 of 1,789,999 )
How can I increase my downloads?