David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Minds and Machines 19 (4):495-506 (2009)
Computationalism, a specie of functionalism, posits that a mental state like pain is realized by a ‘core’ computational state within a particular causal network of such states. This entails that what is realized by the core state is contingent on events remote in space and time, which puts computationalism at odds with the locality principle of physics. If computationalism is amended to respect locality, then it posits that a type of phenomenal experience is determined by a single type of computational state. But a computational state, considered by itself, is of no determinate type—it has no particular symbolic content, since it could be embedded in any of an infinite number of algorithms. Hence, if locality is respected, then the type of experience that is realized by a computational state, or whether any experience at all is realized, is under-determined by the computational nature of the state. Accordingly, Block’s absent and inverted qualia arguments against functionalism find support in the locality principle of physics. If computationalism denies locality to avoid this problem, then it cannot be considered a physicalist theory since it would entail a commitment to phenomena, like teleological causation and action-at-a-distance, that have long been rejected by modern science. The remaining theoretical alternative is to accept the locality principle for macro events and deny that formal, computational operations are sufficient to realize a phenomenal mental state.
|Keywords||Causation Computationalism Functionalism Locality Multiple realizability Qualia|
|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
Michael V. Antony (1994). Against Functionalist Theories of Consciousness. Mind and Language 9 (2):105-23.
Ned Block (ed.) (1980). Readings In Philosophy Of Psychology. Cambridge: Harvard University Press.
B. Jack Copeland (2008). The Church-Turing Thesis. In Edward N. Zalta (ed.), The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. The Metaphysics Research Lab, Stanford University.
Robert Francescotti (1999). Mere Cambridge Properties. American Philosophical Quarterly 36 (4):295-308.
P. T. Geach (2000). God and the Soul. St. Augustine's Press.
Citations of this work BETA
No citations found.
Similar books and articles
Stephen David Ross (1989). Inexhaustibility and Human Being: An Essay on Locality. Fordham University Press.
Gualtiero Piccinini (2004). Functionalism, Computationalism, and Mental Contents. Canadian Journal of Philosophy 34 (3):375-410.
Gualtiero Piccinini (2010). The Mind as Neural Software? Understanding Functionalism, Computationalism, and Computational Functionalism. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 81 (2):269-311.
Arthur Fine (1980). Correlations and Physical Locality. PSA: Proceedings of the Biennial Meeting of the Philosophy of Science Association 1980:535 - 562.
J. Berkovitz (1998). Aspects of Quantum Non-Locality I: Superluminal Signalling, Action-at-a-Distance, Non-Separability and Holism. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B 29 (2):183-222.
Marcin Miłkowski (2007). Is Computationalism Trivial? In Gordana Dodig Crnkovic & Susan Stuart (eds.), Computation, Information, Cognition: The Nexus and the Liminal. Cambridge Scholars Press.
William J. Rapaport (1998). How Minds Can Be Computational Systems. Journal of Experimental and Theoretical Artificial Intelligence 10 (4):403-419.
Gualtiero Piccinini (2004). Functionalism, Computationalism, & Mental States. Studies in the History and Philosophy of Science 35 (4):811-833.
Added to index2009-11-21
Total downloads23 ( #78,594 of 1,099,862 )
Recent downloads (6 months)2 ( #189,854 of 1,099,862 )
How can I increase my downloads?