The Resilience of Computationalism

Piccinini, Dr. Gualtiero (2010) The Resilience of Computationalism. [Preprint]

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Computationalism—the view that cognition is computation—has always been controversial. It faces two types of objection. According to insufficiency objections, computation is insufficient for some cognitive phenomenon X. According to objections from neural realization, cognitive processes are realized by neural processes, but neural processes have feature Y and having Y is incompatible with being (or realizing) computations. In this paper, I explain why computationalism has survived these objections. Insufficiency objections are at best partial: for all they establish, computation may be sufficient for cognitive phenomena other than X, may be part of the explanation for X, or both. Objections from neural realization are based either on a false contrast between feature Y and computation or on an account of computation that is too vague to yield the desired conclusion. To adjudicate the dispute between computationalism and its foes, I will conclude that we need a better account of computation.

Item Type:Preprint
Subjects:Philosophy > Philosophy of Mind
ID Code:6834
Deposited By: Piccinini, Dr. Gualtiero
Deposited On:21 May 2010 15:02
Last Modified:11 Mar 2011 08:57


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