Precis of the emperor's new mind

Behavioral and Brain Sciences 13 (4):643-705 (1990)
The emperor's new mind (hereafter Emperor) is an attempt to put forward a scientific alternative to the viewpoint of according to which mental activity is merely the acting out of some algorithmic procedure. John Searle and other thinkers have likewise argued that mere calculation does not, of itself, evoke conscious mental attributes, such as understanding or intentionality, but they are still prepared to accept the action the brain, like that of any other physical object, could in principle be simulated by a computer. In Emperor I go further than this and suggest that the outward manifestations ofconscious mental activity cannot even be properly simulated by calculation. To support this view, I use various arguments to show that the results of mathematical insight, in particular, do not seem to be obtained algorithmically. The main thrust ofthis work, however, is to present an overview ofthe present state of physical understanding and to show that an important gap exists at the point where, quantum and classical physics meet, as well as to speculate on how the conscious brain might be taking advantage ofwhatever new physics is needed to fill this gap to achieve its nonalgorithmic effects
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DOI 10.1017/S0140525X00080675
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