[ExI] Does the computational theory of mind imply a "soul"?

Ben Zaiboc ben at zaiboc.net
Mon Apr 3 07:56:59 UTC 2023

Personally, I avoid using the term 'soul', it has too much religious 

But if someone asked me to define the word, I would say 'Soul' = 'Mind'.
And 'Mind' is what brains do. It's the result of the functioning of a brain.

A lot of our language implies dualism. For example "I changed my mind". 
This implies a distinction between 'I' and 'My Mind'. I don't think 
there is any distinction. I don't 'have' a mind, I /am/ one. Otherwise, 
there would have to be to something else to 'have' the mind, and the 
question "what could that be?" has haunted us for far too long. I think 
this is why the religious concept of a soul is so pervasive and so 
persistent. It's constantly reinforced by the language we use, so 
magical thinking is baked-in. It takes a lot of 'soul-searching' to free 
yourself of it.

So the question 'Does the computational theory of mind imply a "soul"?' 
is meaningless really, as it's equivalent to "Does the computational 
theory of mind imply a mind?".

Anyone who disagrees needs to define the 'soul' in a way that 
differentiates it from a 'mind'. I don't think this can be done without 
abandoning materialism.


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