Minds and Machines 29 (2):287-308 (2019)

Authors
Paul Schweizer
University of Edinburgh
Abstract
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. However, instead of attempting to ‘save’ CTM by constraining the account of physical implementation, I argue that the general form of the triviality argument is invalid. I provide a counterexample scenario, and show that SMA is in fact consistent with empirically rich and theoretically plausible versions of CTM. This move requires rejection of the computational sufficiency thesis, which I argue is scientifically unjustified in any case. By shifting the ‘burden of explanatory force’ away from the concept of physical implementation, and instead placing it on salient aspects of the target phenomenon to be explained, it’s possible to retain a maximally liberal and unfettered view of physical implementation, and at the same time defuse the triviality arguments that have motivated defenders of CTM to impose various theory-laden constraints on SMA.
Keywords Computational Theory of Mind  Computational Sufficiency Thesis  Physical Implementation  Simple Mapping Account
Categories (categorize this paper)
ISBN(s)
DOI 10.1007/s11023-019-09501-x
Options
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Translate to english
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy

 PhilArchive page | Other versions
External links

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

Minds, Brains, and Programs.John R. Searle - 1980 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 3 (3):417-57.
Computing Machinery and Intelligence.Alan M. Turing - 1950 - Mind 59 (October):433-60.
The Language of Thought.J. A. Fodor - 1978 - Critica 10 (28):140-143.

View all 47 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Why Do We Need a Theory of Implementation?Andre Curtis-Trudel - forthcoming - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science.
Breaking the Self.Wanja Wiese - 2020 - Philosophy and the Mind Sciences 1 (I):1-27.
Implementation as Resemblance.André Curtis-Trudel - 2021 - Philosophy of Science 88 (5):1021-1032.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

The Swapping Constraint.Henry Schiller - 2018 - Minds and Machines 28 (3):605-622.
Triviality Arguments Against Functionalism.Peter Godfrey-Smith - 2009 - Philosophical Studies 145 (2):273 - 295.
Against Structuralist Theories of Computational Implementation.Michael Rescorla - 2013 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 64 (4):681-707.
Computation, Implementation, Cognition.Oron Shagrir - 2012 - Minds and Machines 22 (2):137-148.
When Physical Systems Realize Functions.Matthias Scheutz - 1999 - Minds and Machines 9 (2):161-196.
A Critical Examination of Hilary Putnam's Refutation of Computational Functionalism.Jeff Buechner - 2003 - Dissertation, Rutgers the State University of New Jersey - New Brunswick
Computational Vs. Causal Complexity.Matthias Scheutz - 2001 - Minds and Machines 11 (4):543-566.

Analytics

Added to PP index
2019-05-28

Total views
127 ( #85,263 of 2,455,405 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
12 ( #54,381 of 2,455,405 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads

My notes