On Guiding Rules

  • R. J. Nelson
Part of the Synthese Library book series (SYLI, volume 206)


Professor Arthur Burks, in his Presidential Address to the Western Division of the American Philosophical Association in 1973 developed the thesis that a man is a finite, possibly probabilistic, automaton (Burks, 1972–73). This mechanist or computationalist philosophy of man is of course a version of the fairly widespread view that the mind is an information processing system of some kind. Burks’ typically and admirably clear address both developed this picture of man far more definitely and precisely than is usual in most philosophical discussions and added an ingenious argument in support of the thesis based on the psychological principle of just noticeable difference.


Turing Machine Finite Automaton Clear Address Recursive Rule Phrase Structure Grammar 
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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1990

Authors and Affiliations

  • R. J. Nelson
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PhilosophyCase Western Reserve UniversityUSA

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