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In What Sense Does the Brain Compute?

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Part of the Synthese Library book series (SYLI,volume 375)

Abstract

I analyse the notion of computation in the physical world and argue against the widely held view that merely implementing the ‘right’ sort of computational procedure is sufficient to transform a given configuration of matter and energy into a genuinely mental system. Instead, I advocate a more scientifically plausible version of the Computational Theory of Mind, wherein the interpretation of the brain as a computational device should (i) provide the theoretical bridge between high level intentional states and causally efficacious physical structure, and (ii) supply the integrated key for predicting both future brain states viewed as implementations of abstract computational states, and output behaviour viewed in cognitive terms.

Keywords

  • Virtual Machine
  • Physical System
  • Turing Machine
  • Physical Implementation
  • Natural Computation

These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Acknowledgments

I would like to thank the reviewers Marcin Milkowski and Marcin Schroeder for a number of helpful comments, as well as Piotr Jablonski for useful general discussion.

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Correspondence to Paul Schweizer .

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Schweizer, P. (2016). In What Sense Does the Brain Compute?. In: Müller, V.C. (eds) Computing and Philosophy. Synthese Library, vol 375. Springer, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-23291-1_5

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