[ExI] Is the brain a digital computer?

Gordon Swobe gts_2000 at yahoo.com
Sun Feb 21 13:59:03 UTC 2010


"But now if we are trying to take seriously the idea that the brain is a digital computer, we get the uncomfortable result that we could make a system that does just what the brain does out of pretty much anything. Computationally speaking, on this view, you can make a "brain" that functions just like yours and mine out of cats and mice and cheese or levers or water pipes or pigeons or anything else [e.g., beer cans and toilet paper] provided the two systems are, in Block's sense, "computationally equivalent" . You would just need an awful lot of cats, or pigeons or waterpipes, or whatever it might be. 

The proponents of Cognitivism report this result with sheer and unconcealed delight. But I think they ought to be worried about it, and I am going to try to show that it is just the tip of a whole iceberg of problems."

http://users.ecs.soton.ac.uk/harnad/Papers/Py104/searle.comp.html

-gts


      


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