Synthesis Philosophica 20 (2):373-388 (2005)

Andrej Ule
University of Ljubljana
In this essay I analyse Wittgenstein’s criticism of several assumptions that are crucial for a large part of cognitive science. These involve the concepts of computational processes in the brain which cause mental states and processes, the algorithmic processing of information in the brain , the brain as a machine, psychophysical parallelism, the thinking machine, as well as the confusion of rule following with behaviour in accordance with the rule. In my opinion, the theorists of cognitive science have not yet seriously considered Wittgenstein’s criticism so they, quite surprisingly, frequently confuse the question “how does it work?” with “what does it do?” But their most “deleterious” mistake is their confusion of the internal computational processes taking place in the brain with socially-based, everyday criteria of recognition and classification of, and knowledge about, the content of mental states
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Zettel.Ludwig Wittgenstein - 1967 - Blackwell.
The Computer Model of Mind.Ned Block - 1990 - In Daniel N. Osherson & Edward E. Smith (eds.), An Invitation to Cognitive Science. MIT Press.

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