Chomsky and Penrose on the Explicable and the Inexplicable

Harnad, Stevan (2006) Chomsky and Penrose on the Explicable and the Inexplicable Unpublished


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Chomsky thinks there are truths the human mind may be unable to understand or explain. Penrose thinks thinking is not computation and that human intuition can discover truths that cannot be computed (perhaps with the help of quantum processes in the brain). One can agree that thinking is not just computation without having to resort to quantum mechanics: Classical mechanics is already noncomputational. But the thought processes underlying intuition could still be computational; and intuitions can also be wrong. And whatever is inexplicable by the human mind and language could be inexplicable for shallow reasons (not enough time and luck) not mental or linguistic ones. If there are truths that are inexplicable for deeper reasons, it is hard to explain in words how or why, apart perhaps from quantum uncertainty and Gödel-unprovability. And there the reasons are not mental ones.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: language, mind, creativity, computation, Chomsky, Penrose, effability, quantum uncertainty, gödel's theorem, intuition
Organisations: Web & Internet Science
ePrint ID: 403230
Date :
Date Event
2006Accepted/In Press
2006e-pub ahead of print
Date Deposited: 23 Nov 2016 19:56
Last Modified: 17 Apr 2017 00:53
Further Information:Google Scholar

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