The first computational theory of mind and brain: A close look at McCulloch and Pitts' Logical Calculus of Ideas Immanent in Nervous Activity
David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Synthese 141 (2):175-215 (2004)
Despite its significance in neuroscience and computation, McCulloch and Pitts's celebrated 1943 paper has received little historical and philosophical attention. In 1943 there already existed a lively community of biophysicists doing mathematical work on neural networks. What was novel in McCulloch and Pitts's paper was their use of logic and computation to understand neural, and thus mental, activity. McCulloch and Pitts's contributions included (i) a formalism whose refinement and generalization led to the notion of finite automata (an important formalism in computability theory), (ii) a technique that inspired the notion of logic design (a fundamental part of modern computer design), (iii) the first use of computation to address the mind–body problem, and (iv) the first modern computational theory of mind and brain.
|Keywords||Brain Computational Mind Neuroscience Science Mcculloch, W Pitts, W|
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Gualtiero Piccinini (2009). Computationalism in the Philosophy of Mind. Philosophy Compass 4 (3):515-532.
Gualtiero Piccinini (2010). The Mind as Neural Software? Understanding Functionalism, Computationalism, and Computational Functionalism. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 81 (2):269-311.
Gualtiero Piccinini (2008). Computation Without Representation. Philosophical Studies 137 (2):205-241.
Gualtiero Piccinini & Andrea Scarantino (2010). Computation Vs. Information Processing: Why Their Difference Matters to Cognitive Science. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 41 (3):237-246.
Gualtiero Piccinini (2007). Computational Modeling Vs. Computational Explanation: Is Everything a Turing Machine, and Does It Matter to the Philosophy of Mind? Australasian Journal of Philosophy 85 (1):93 – 115.
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