TY - GEN
ID - cogprints383
UR - http://cogprints.org/383/
A1 - MacLennan, Bruce J.
Y1 - 1994/11//
N2 - The central claim of computationalism is generally taken to be that the brain is a computer, and that any computer implementing the appropriate program would ipso facto have a mind. In this paper I argue for the following propositions: (1) The central claim of computationalism is not about computers, a concept too imprecise for a scientific claim of this sort, but is about physical calculi (instantiated discrete formal systems). (2) In matters of formality, interpretability, and so forth, analog computation and digital computation are not essentially different, and so arguments such as Searle's hold or not as well for one as for the other. (3) Whether or not a biological system (such as the brain) is computational is a scientific matter of fact. (4) A substantive scientific question for cognitive science is whether cognition is better modeled by discrete representations or by continuous representations. (5) Cognitive science and AI need a theoretical construct that is the continuous analog of a calculus. The discussion of these propositions will illuminate several terminology traps, in which it's all too easy to become ensnared.
KW - computationalism
KW - computation
KW - analogue computation
KW - analog computation
KW - continuous computation
KW - formality
KW - digital computation
KW - calculus
KW - interpretation
KW - Searle
KW - Chinese room
KW - symbol grounding
KW - analogy
KW - discrete versus continuous
KW - formal system
KW - dynamical system
KW - continuous process
KW - realization
KW - implementation
KW - program
KW - universal computation
KW - universal Turing machine
KW - syntax
KW - semantics
KW - representation
KW - systematicity
KW - intentionality
KW - synthetic ethology
KW - Harnad
KW - total Turing test
TI - Words Lie in our Way
SP - 421
AV - public
EP - 437
ER -