Semiotic Systems, Computers, and the Mind: How Cognition Could Be Computing

In this reply to James H. Fetzer’s “Minds and Machines: Limits to Simulations of Thought and Action”, I argue that computationalism should not be the view that (human) cognition is computation, but that it should be the view that cognition (simpliciter) is computable. It follows that computationalism can be true even if (human) cognition is not the result of computations in the brain. I also argue that, if semiotic systems are systems that interpret signs, then both humans and computers are semiotic systems. Finally, I suggest that minds can be considered as virtual machines implemented in certain semiotic systems, primarily the brain, but also AI computers. In doing so, I take issue with Fetzer’s arguments to the contrary.
Keywords computationalism  semiotic systems  cognition  syntax  semantics
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William J. Rapaport (1998). How Minds Can Be Computational Systems. Journal of Experimental and Theoretical Artificial Intelligence 10 (4):403-419.
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