David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Minds and Machines 19 (4):529-541 (2009)
The paper presents a paradoxical feature of computational systems that suggests that computationalism cannot explain symbol grounding. If the mind is a digital computer, as computationalism claims, then it can be computing either over meaningful symbols or over meaningless symbols. If it is computing over meaningful symbols its functioning presupposes the existence of meaningful symbols in the system, i.e. it implies semantic nativism. If the mind is computing over meaningless symbols, no intentional cognitive processes are available prior to symbol grounding. In this case, no symbol grounding could take place since any grounding presupposes intentional cognitive processes. So, whether computing in the mind is over meaningless or over meaningful symbols, computationalism implies semantic nativism.
|Keywords||symbol grounding Fodor computationalism computing nativism|
|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
David J. Chalmers (2011). A Computational Foundation for the Study of Cognition. Journal of Cognitive Science 12 (4):323-357.
Paul M. Churchland (2005). Functionalism at Forty: A Critical Retrospective. Journal of Philosophy 102 (1):33-50.
B. Jack Copeland (2002). Hypercomputation. Minds and Machines 12 (4):461-502.
B. Jack Copeland (2000). Narrow Versus Wide Mechanism: Including a Re-Examination of Turing's Views on the Mind-Machine Issue. Journal of Philosophy 97 (1):5-33.
Jack Copeland (1997). The Broad Conception of Computation. American Behavioral Scientist 40 (6):690-716.
Citations of this work BETA
No citations found.
Similar books and articles
Stevan Harnad (2002). Symbol Grounding and the Origin of Language. In Matthias Scheutz (ed.), Computationalism: New Directions. MIT Press.
Stevan Harnad (1990). The Symbol Grounding Problem. Philosophical Explorations 42:335-346.
Karl F. MacDorman (1998). Feature Learning, Multiresolution Analysis, and Symbol Grounding. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 21 (1):32-33.
C. Franklin Boyle (2001). Transduction and Degree of Grounding. Psycoloquy 12 (36).
Bruce J. MacLennan (1993). Grounding Analog Computers. Philosophical Explorations 2:8-51.
Stevan Harnad, Symbol Grounding is an Empirical Problem: Neural Nets Are Just a Candidate Component.
Stevan Harnad (1992). Connecting Object to Symbol in Modeling Cognition. In A. Clark & Ronald Lutz (eds.), Connectionism in Context. Springer-Verlag. 75--90.
Stevan Harnad (1995). Grounding Symbols in Sensorimotor Categories with Neural Networks. Institute of Electrical Engineers Colloquium on "Grounding Representations.
Added to index2009-12-09
Total downloads32 ( #63,219 of 1,410,137 )
Recent downloads (6 months)2 ( #107,954 of 1,410,137 )
How can I increase my downloads?