Turing and the fragility and insubstantiality of evolutionary explanations: A puzzle about the unity of Alan Turing's work with some larger implications
Graduate studies at Western
Philosophical Psychology 14 (1):83-94 (2001)
|Abstract||As is well known, Alan Turing drew a line, embodied in the "Turing test," between intellectual and physical abilities, and hence between cognitive and natural sciences. Less familiarly, he proposed that one way to produce a "passer" would be to educate a "child machine," equating the experimenter's improvements in the initial structure of the child machine with genetic mutations, while supposing that the experimenter might achieve improvements more expeditiously than natural selection. On the other hand, in his foundational "On the chemical basis of morphogenesis," Turing insisted that biological explanation clearly confine itself to purely physical and chemical means, eschewing vitalist and teleological talk entirely and hewing to D'Arcy Thompson's line that "evolutionary 'explanations,'" are historical and narrative in character, employing the same intentional and teleological vocabulary we use in doing human history, and hence, while perhaps on occasion of heuristic value, are not part of biology as a natural science. To apply Turing's program to recent issues, the attempt to give foundations to the social and cognitive sciences in the "real science" of evolutionary biology (as opposed to Turing's biology) is neither to give foundations, nor to achieve the unification of the social/cognitive sciences and the natural sciences.|
|Keywords||Ability Biology Evolution Explanation Physical Science Turing, A|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
|Through your library||Configure|
Similar books and articles
B. Jack Copeland (2000). The Turing Test. Minds and Machines 10 (4):519-539.
B. Jack Copeland (2002). Accelerating Turing Machines. Minds and Machines 12 (2):281-300.
Justin Leiber (2006). Turing's Golden: How Well Turing's Work Stands Today. Philosophical Psychology 19 (1):13-46.
Justin Leiber (2002). Philosophy, Engineering, Biology, and History: A Vindication of Turing's Views About the Distinction Between the Cognitive and Physical Sciences. Journal of Experimental and Theoretical Artificial Intelligence 14 (1):29-37.
Justin Leiber (1995). On Turing's Turing Test and Why the Matter Matters. Synthese 104 (1):59-69.
Edwin J. Beggs, José Félix Costa & John V. Tucker (2010). Physical Oracles: The Turing Machine and the Wheatstone Bridge. Studia Logica 95 (1/2):279 - 300.
Jack Copeland (1996). On Alan Turing's Anticipation of Connectionism. Synthese 108 (3):361-377.
Gualtiero Piccinini (2000). Turing's Rules for the Imitation Game. Minds and Machines 10 (4):573-582.
D. King (1996). Is the Human Mind a Turing Machine? Synthese 108 (3):379-89.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads24 ( #57,917 of 740,210 )
Recent downloads (6 months)2 ( #37,287 of 740,210 )
How can I increase my downloads?