(Position Paper for Symposium, \What is Computing?")

Abstract
The central claim of computationalism is generally taken to be that the brain is a computer, and that any computer implementing the appropriate program would ipso facto have a mind. In this paper I argue for the following propositions: (1) The central claim of computationalism is not about computers, a concept too imprecise for a scienti c claim of this sort, but is about physical calculi (instantiated discrete formal systems). (2) In matters of formality, interpretability, and so forth, analog computation and digital computation are not essentially di erent, and so arguments such as Searle's hold or not as well for one as for the other. (3) Whether or not a biological system (such as the brain) is computational is a scienti c matter of fact. (4) A substantive scienti c question for cognitive science is whether cognition is better modeled by discrete representations or by continuous representations. (5) Cognitive science and AI need a theoretical construct that is the continuous analog of a calculus. The discussion of these propositions will illuminate several terminology traps, in which it's all too easy to become ensnared.
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
Options
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index Translate to english
 
Download options
PhilPapers Archive


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 9,357
External links
  •   Try with proxy.
  • Through your library Only published papers are available at libraries
    References found in this work BETA

    No references found.

    Citations of this work BETA

    No citations found.

    Similar books and articles
    Bruce J. MacLennan (1994). Words Lie in Our Way. Minds and Machines 4 (4):421-37.
    Stuart C. Shapiro (1995). Computationalism. Minds and Machines 5 (4):467-87.
    Analytics

    Monthly downloads

    Added to index

    2010-12-22

    Total downloads

    10 ( #120,393 of 1,088,833 )

    Recent downloads (6 months)

    1 ( #69,666 of 1,088,833 )

    How can I increase my downloads?

    My notes
    Sign in to use this feature


    Discussion
    Start a new thread
    Order:
    There  are no threads in this forum
    Nothing in this forum yet.