[ExI] How not to make a thought experiment

Ben Zaiboc bbenzai at yahoo.com
Sun Feb 21 12:48:41 UTC 2010

Spencer Campbell <lacertilian at gmail.com> wrote:
> > I've just read the Wikipedia article for the CRA in
> more detail, as
> > well as the following:
> > http://cogprints.org/4023/1/searlbook.htm

OK, I'm reading the latter, and came across this:

"(1) Mental states are just implementations of (the right) computer program(s). (Otherwise put: Mental states are just computational states)."

Apart from the use of the word "just", which seems both unnecessary and prejudicial, I'm puzzling over the statement.

What else could mental states possibly be?  Is this some confusion of terminology?  I don't see how a 'mental state' can be anything but an arrangement of information, which is also what a 'computational state' is.

Can anyone throw any light on this?  What alternatives are there?

Ben Zaiboc


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