Cohabitation: Computation at 70, Cognition at 20

Harnad, Stevan (2009) Cohabitation: Computation at 70, Cognition at 20 In, Dedrick, D and Trick, L (eds.) Computation, Cognition, and Pylyshyn. MIT Press pp. 245-257.


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Zenon Pylyshyn cast cognition's lot with computation, stretching the Church/Turing Thesis to its limit: We had no idea how the mind did anything, whereas we knew computation could do just about everything. Doing it with images would be like doing it with mirrors, and little men in mirrors. So why not do it all with symbols and rules instead? Everything worthy of the name "cognition," anyway; not what was too thick for cognition to penetrate. It might even solve the mind/body problem if the soul, like software, were independent of its physical incarnation. It looked like we had the architecture of cognition virtually licked. Even neural nets could be either simulated or subsumed. But then came Searle, with his sino-spoiler thought experiment, showing that cognition cannot be all computation (though not, as Searle thought, that it cannot be computation at all). So if cognition has to be hybrid sensorimotor/symbolic, it turns out we've all just been haggling over the price, instead of delivering the goods, as Turing had originally proposed 5 decades earlier.

Item Type: Book Section
Additional Information: Chapter: 10
Related URLs:
Keywords: computation, cognition, mental imagery, propositions, language of thought, symbol grounding, turing test, searle, pylyshyn, fodor, dynamical systems
Organisations: Web & Internet Science
ePrint ID: 262092
Date :
Date Event
Date Deposited: 17 Mar 2006
Last Modified: 17 Apr 2017 21:47
Further Information:Google Scholar

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