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  1. Real Realization: Dennett’s Real Patterns Versus Putnam’s Ubiquitous Automata. [REVIEW]David Joslin - 2006 - Minds and Machines 16 (1):29-41.
    Both Putnam and Searle have argued that that every abstract automaton is realized by every physical system, a claim that leads to a reductio argument against Cognitivism or Strong AI: if it is possible for a computer to be conscious by virtue of realizing some abstract automaton, then by Putnam’s theorem every physical system also realizes that automaton, and so every physical system is conscious—a conclusion few supporters of Strong AI would be willing to accept. Dennett has suggested a criterion (...)
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  • Computational Theories of Conscious Experience: Between a Rock and a Hard Place.Gary Bartlett - 2012 - Erkenntnis 76 (2):195-209.
    Very plausibly, nothing can be a genuine computing system unless it meets an input-sensitivity requirement. Otherwise all sorts of objects, such as rocks or pails of water, can count as performing computations, even such as might suffice for mentality—thus threatening computationalism about the mind with panpsychism. Maudlin in J Philos 86:407–432, ( 1989 ) and Bishop ( 2002a , b ) have argued, however, that such a requirement creates difficulties for computationalism about conscious experience, putting it in conflict with the (...)
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  • Computation, Implementation, Cognition.Oron Shagrir - 2012 - Minds and Machines 22 (2):137-148.
    Putnam (Representations and reality. MIT Press, Cambridge, 1988) and Searle (The rediscovery of the mind. MIT Press, Cambridge, 1992) famously argue that almost every physical system implements every finite computation. This universal implementation claim, if correct, puts at the risk of triviality certain functional and computational views of the mind. Several authors have offered theories of implementation that allegedly avoid the pitfalls of universal implementation. My aim in this paper is to suggest that these theories are still consistent with a (...)
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  • Disentangling Dynamics, Computation, and Cognition.Tim van Gelder - 1998 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 21 (5):654-661.
    The nature of the dynamical hypothesis in cognitive science (the DH) is further clarified in responding to various criticisms and objections raised in commentaries. Major topics addressed include the definitions of “dynamical system” and “digital computer;” the DH as Law of Qualitative Structure; the DH as an ontological claim; the multiple-realizability of dynamical models; the level at which the DH is pitched; the nature of dynamics; the role of representations in dynamical cognitive science; the falsifiability of the DH; the extent (...)
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  • The Dynamical Hypothesis in Cognitive Science.Tim van Gelder - 1998 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 21 (5):615-28.
    The dynamical hypothesis is the claim that cognitive agents are dynamical systems. It stands opposed to the dominant computational hypothesis, the claim that cognitive agents are digital computers. This target article articulates the dynamical hypothesis and defends it as an open empirical alternative to the computational hypothesis. Carrying out these objectives requires extensive clarification of the conceptual terrain, with particular focus on the relation of dynamical systems to computers.
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  • The Mind as Neural Software? Understanding Functionalism, Computationalism, and Computational Functionalism.Gualtiero Piccinini - 2010 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 81 (2):269-311.
    Defending or attacking either functionalism or computationalism requires clarity on what they amount to and what evidence counts for or against them. My goalhere is not to evaluatc their plausibility. My goal is to formulate them and their relationship clearly enough that we can determine which type of evidence is relevant to them. I aim to dispel some sources of confusion that surround functionalism and computationalism. recruit recent philosophical work on mechanisms and computation to shed light on them, and clarify (...)
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  • A Cognitive Computation Fallacy? Cognition, Computations and Panpsychism.John Mark Bishop - 2009 - Cognitive Computation 1 (3):221-233.
    The journal of Cognitive Computation is defined in part by the notion that biologically inspired computational accounts are at the heart of cognitive processes in both natural and artificial systems. Many studies of various important aspects of cognition (memory, observational learning, decision making, reward prediction learning, attention control, etc.) have been made by modelling the various experimental results using ever-more sophisticated computer programs. In this manner progressive inroads have been made into gaining a better understanding of the many components of (...)
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  • A Mechanistic Account of Wide Computationalism.Luke Kersten - 2017 - Review of Philosophy and Psychology 8 (3):501-517.
    The assumption that psychological states and processes are computational in character pervades much of cognitive science, what many call the computational theory of mind. In addition to occupying a central place in cognitive science, the computational theory of mind has also had a second life supporting “individualism”, the view that psychological states should be taxonomized so as to supervene only on the intrinsic, physical properties of individuals. One response to individualism has been to raise the prospect of “wide computational systems”, (...)
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  • Against Structuralist Theories of Computational Implementation.Michael Rescorla - 2013 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 64 (4):681-707.
    Under what conditions does a physical system implement or realize a computation? Structuralism about computational implementation, espoused by Chalmers and others, holds that a physical system realizes a computation just in case the system instantiates a pattern of causal organization isomorphic to the computation’s formal structure. I argue against structuralism through counter-examples drawn from computer science. On my opposing view, computational implementation sometimes requires instantiating semantic properties that outstrip any relevant pattern of causal organization. In developing my argument, I defend (...)
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  • Objective Computation Versus Subjective Computation.Nir Fresco - 2015 - Erkenntnis 80 (5):1031-1053.
    The question ‘What is computation?’ might seem a trivial one to many, but this is far from being in consensus in philosophy of mind, cognitive science and even in physics. The lack of consensus leads to some interesting, yet contentious, claims, such as that cognition or even the universe is computational. Some have argued, though, that computation is a subjective phenomenon: whether or not a physical system is computational, and if so, which computation it performs, is entirely a matter of (...)
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  • The Architecture of Mind as a Network of Networks of Natural Computational Processes.Gordana Dodig-Crnkovic - 2016 - Philosophies 1 (1):111--125.
    In discussions regarding models of cognition, the very mention of “computationalism” often incites reactions against the insufficiency of the Turing machine model, its abstractness, determinism, the lack of naturalist foundations, triviality and the absence of clarity. None of those objections, however, concerns models based on natural computation or computing nature, where the model of computation is broader than symbol manipulation or conventional models of computation. Computing nature consists of physical structures that form layered computational architecture, with computation processes ranging from (...)
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  • Concrete Digital Computation: What Does It Take for a Physical System to Compute? [REVIEW]Nir Fresco - 2011 - Journal of Logic, Language and Information 20 (4):513-537.
    This paper deals with the question: what are the key requirements for a physical system to perform digital computation? Time and again cognitive scientists are quick to employ the notion of computation simpliciter when asserting basically that cognitive activities are computational. They employ this notion as if there was or is a consensus on just what it takes for a physical system to perform computation, and in particular digital computation. Some cognitive scientists in referring to digital computation simply adhere to (...)
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  • Triviality Arguments Reconsidered.Paul Schweizer - 2019 - Minds and Machines 29 (2):287-308.
    Opponents of the computational theory of mind have held that the theory is devoid of explanatory content, since whatever computational procedures are said to account for our cognitive attributes will also be realized by a host of other ‘deviant’ physical systems, such as buckets of water and possibly even stones. Such ‘triviality’ claims rely on a simple mapping account of physical implementation. Hence defenders of CTM traditionally attempt to block the trivialization critique by advocating additional constraints on the implementation relation. (...)
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  • Representationalism Vs. Anti-Representationalism: A Debate for the Sake of Appearance.Pim Haselager, A. de Groot & H. van Rappard - 2003 - Philosophical Psychology 16 (1):5-23.
    In recent years the cognitive science community has witnessed the rise of a new, dynamical approach to cognition. This approach entails a framework in which cognition and behavior are taken to result from complex dynamical interactions between brain, body, and environment. The advent of the dynamical approach is grounded in a dissatisfaction with the classical computational view of cognition. A particularly strong claim has been that cognitive systems do not rely on internal representations and computations. Focusing on this claim, we (...)
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  • Computing Mechanisms.Gualtiero Piccinini - 2007 - Philosophy of Science 74 (4):501-526.
    This paper offers an account of what it is for a physical system to be a computing mechanism—a system that performs computations. A computing mechanism is a mechanism whose function is to generate output strings from input strings and (possibly) internal states, in accordance with a general rule that applies to all relevant strings and depends on the input strings and (possibly) internal states for its application. This account is motivated by reasons endogenous to the philosophy of computing, namely, doing (...)
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  • What RoboDennett Still Doesn't Know.Michael Beaton - 2005 - Journal of Consciousness Studies 12 (12):3-25.
    The explicit aim of Daniel Dennett’s new paper ‘What RoboMary Knows’ is to show that Mary will necessarily be able to come to know what it is like to see in colour, if she fully understands all the physical facts about colour vision. I believe we can establish that Dennett’s line of reasoning is flawed, but the flaw is not as simple as an equivocation on ‘knows’. Rather, it goes to the heart of functionalism and hinges on whether or not (...)
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  • How Velmans' Conscious Experiences Affected Our Brains.Ron Chrisley & Aaron Sloman - 2002 - Journal of Consciousness Studies 9 (11):58-62.
    Velmans’ paper raises three problems concerning mental causation: (1) How can consciousness affect the physical, given that the physical world appears causally closed? 10 (2) How can one be in conscious control of processes of which one is not consciously aware? (3) Conscious experiences appear to come too late to causally affect the processes to which they most obviously relate. In an appendix Velmans gives his reasons for refusing to resolve these problems through adopting the position (which he labels ‘physicalism’) (...)
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  • Objections to Computationalism: A Survey.Marcin Miłkowski - 2018 - Roczniki Filozoficzne 66 (3):57-75.
    In this paper, the Author reviewed the typical objections against the claim that brains are computers, or, to be more precise, information-processing mechanisms. By showing that practically all the popular objections are based on uncharitable interpretations of the claim, he argues that the claim is likely to be true, relevant to contemporary cognitive science, and non-trivial.
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  • Measurement and Computational Skepticism.Robert J. Matthews & Eli Dresner - 2017 - Noûs 51 (4):832-854.
    Putnam and Searle famously argue against computational theories of mind on the skeptical ground that there is no fact of the matter as to what mathematical function a physical system is computing: both conclude that virtually any physical object computes every computable function, implements every program or automaton. There has been considerable discussion of Putnam's and Searle's arguments, though as yet there is little consensus as to what, if anything, is wrong with these arguments. In the present paper we show (...)
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  • Computers.Gualtiero Piccinini - 2004 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 89 (1):32–73.
    I offer an explication of the notion of computer, grounded in the practices of computability theorists and computer scientists. I begin by explaining what distinguishes computers from calculators. Then, I offer a systematic taxonomy of kinds of computer, including hard-wired versus programmable, general-purpose versus special-purpose, analog versus digital, and serial versus parallel, giving explicit criteria for each kind. My account is mechanistic: which class a system belongs in, and which functions are computable by which system, depends on the system's mechanistic (...)
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  • The Computational Stance is Unfit for Consciousness.Riccardo Manzotti - 2012 - International Journal of Machine Consciousness 4 (2):401-420.
  • Searle's Wall.James Blackmon - 2013 - Erkenntnis 78 (1):109-117.
    In addition to his famous Chinese Room argument, John Searle has posed a more radical problem for views on which minds can be understood as programs. Even his wall, he claims, implements the WordStar program according to the standard definition of implementation because there is some ‘‘pattern of molecule movements’’ that is isomorphic to the formal structure of WordStar. Program implementation, Searle charges, is merely observer-relative and thus not an intrinsic feature of the world. I argue, first, that analogous charges (...)
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  • Computationalism in the Philosophy of Mind.Gualtiero Piccinini - 2009 - Philosophy Compass 4 (3):515-532.
    Computationalism has been the mainstream view of cognition for decades. There are periodic reports of its demise, but they are greatly exaggerated. This essay surveys some recent literature on computationalism. It concludes that computationalism is a family of theories about the mechanisms of cognition. The main relevant evidence for testing it comes from neuroscience, though psychology and AI are relevant too. Computationalism comes in many versions, which continue to guide competing research programs in philosophy of mind as well as psychology (...)
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  • In Defense of the Semantic View of Computation.Oron Shagrir - forthcoming - Synthese:1-26.
    The semantic view of computation is the claim that semantic properties play an essential role in the individuation of physical computing systems such as laptops and brains. The main argument for the semantic view rests on the fact that some physical systems simultaneously implement different automata at the same time, in the same space, and even in the very same physical properties. Recently, several authors have challenged this argument. They accept the premise of simultaneous implementation but reject the semantic conclusion. (...)
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  • A Theory of Computational Implementation.Michael Rescorla - 2014 - Synthese 191 (6):1277-1307.
    I articulate and defend a new theory of what it is for a physical system to implement an abstract computational model. According to my descriptivist theory, a physical system implements a computational model just in case the model accurately describes the system. Specifically, the system must reliably transit between computational states in accord with mechanical instructions encoded by the model. I contrast my theory with an influential approach to computational implementation espoused by Chalmers, Putnam, and others. I deploy my theory (...)
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