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Harnad, Stevan (2006) Chomsky and Penrose on the Explicable and the Inexplicable Unpublished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

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Accepted/In Press date: 2006
e-pub ahead of print date: 2006
Keywords: language, mind, creativity, computation, Chomsky, Penrose, effability, quantum uncertainty, gödel's theorem, intuition
Organisations: Web & Internet Science


Local EPrints ID: 403230
PURE UUID: db0e92a1-1620-47fa-b7a3-b42089705538

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Date deposited: 23 Nov 2016 19:56
Last modified: 17 Jul 2017 17:43

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Author: Stevan Harnad

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