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The Cognitive Basis of Computation: Putting Computation in Its Place

In Mark Sprevak & Matteo Colombo (eds.), The Routledge Handbook of the Computational Mind. London: Routledge. pp. 272-282 (2018)

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  1. The Introduction of Information Into Neurobiology.Justin Garson - 2003 - Philosophy of Science 70 (5):926-936.
    The first use of the term "information" to describe the content of nervous impulse occurs 20 years prior to Shannon`s (1948) work, in Edgar Adrian`s The Basis of Sensation (1928). Although, at least throughout the 1920s and early 30s, the term "information" does not appear in Adrian`s scientific writings to describe the content of nervous impulse, the notion that the structure of nervous impulse constitutes a type of message subject to certain constraints plays an important role in all of his (...)
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  • Psychosemantics: The Problem of Meaning In the Philosophy of Mind.Jay L. Garfield - 1991 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 51 (1):235-240.
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  • Against Structuralist Theories of Computational Implementation.Michael Rescorla - 2013 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 64 (4):681-707.
    Under what conditions does a physical system implement or realize a computation? Structuralism about computational implementation, espoused by Chalmers and others, holds that a physical system realizes a computation just in case the system instantiates a pattern of causal organization isomorphic to the computation’s formal structure. I argue against structuralism through counter-examples drawn from computer science. On my opposing view, computational implementation sometimes requires instantiating semantic properties that outstrip any relevant pattern of causal organization. In developing my argument, I defend (...)
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  • Computation Without Representation.Gualtiero Piccinini - 2008 - Philosophical Studies 137 (2):205-241.
    The received view is that computational states are individuated at least in part by their semantic properties. I offer an alternative, according to which computational states are individuated by their functional properties. Functional properties are specified by a mechanistic explanation without appealing to any semantic properties. The primary purpose of this paper is to formulate the alternative view of computational individuation, point out that it supports a robust notion of computational explanation, and defend it on the grounds of how computational (...)
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  • Neural Computation and the Computational Theory of Cognition.Gualtiero Piccinini & Sonya Bahar - 2013 - Cognitive Science 37 (3):453-488.
    We begin by distinguishing computationalism from a number of other theses that are sometimes conflated with it. We also distinguish between several important kinds of computation: computation in a generic sense, digital computation, and analog computation. Then, we defend a weak version of computationalism—neural processes are computations in the generic sense. After that, we reject on empirical grounds the common assimilation of neural computation to either analog or digital computation, concluding that neural computation is sui generis. Analog computation requires continuous (...)
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  • A Theory of Content and Other Essays.Alan Millar - 1992 - Philosophical Quarterly 42 (168):367-372.
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  • Artificial Intelligence: The Very Idea.John Haugeland - 1985 - Cambridge: MIT Press.
    The idea that human thinking and machine computing are "radically the same" provides the central theme for this marvelously lucid and witty book on...
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  • Surfing Uncertainty: Prediction, Action, and the Embodied Mind.Andy Clark - 2016 - Oxford University Press USA.
    How is it that thoroughly physical material beings such as ourselves can think, dream, feel, create and understand ideas, theories and concepts? How does mere matter give rise to all these non-material mental states, including consciousness itself? An answer to this central question of our existence is emerging at the busy intersection of neuroscience, psychology, artificial intelligence, and robotics.In this groundbreaking work, philosopher and cognitive scientist Andy Clark explores exciting new theories from these fields that reveal minds like ours to (...)
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  • Mind in Life: Biology, Phenomenology, and the Sciences of Mind.Evan Thompson - 2007 - Harvard University Press.
    The question has long confounded philosophers and scientists, and it is this so-called explanatory gap between biological life and consciousness that Evan ...
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  • Radicalizing Enactivism: Basic Minds Without Content.Daniel D. Hutto & Erik Myin - 2013 - Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.
    In this book, Daniel Hutto and Erik Myin promote the cause of a radically enactive, embodied approach to cognition that holds that some kinds of minds -- basic minds -- are neither best explained by processes involving the manipulation of ...
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  • Kinds of Minds Toward an Understanding of Consciousness.Daniel C. Dennett - 1996
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  • Sweet Dreams: Philosophical Obstacles to a Science of Consciousness.Daniel C. Dennett - 2005 - MIT Press.
    In the final essay, the "intrinsic" nature of "qualia" is compared with the naively imagined "intrinsic value" of a dollar in ...
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  • Physical Computation: A Mechanistic Account.Gualtiero Piccinini - 2015 - Oxford University Press UK.
    Gualtiero Piccinini articulates and defends a mechanistic account of concrete, or physical, computation. A physical system is a computing system just in case it is a mechanism one of whose functions is to manipulate vehicles based solely on differences between different portions of the vehicles according to a rule defined over the vehicles. Physical Computation discusses previous accounts of computation and argues that the mechanistic account is better. Many kinds of computation are explicated, such as digital vs. analog, serial vs. (...)
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  • The Multiple Realization Book.Thomas W. Polger & Lawrence A. Shapiro - 2016 - Oxford University Press UK.
    Since Hilary Putnam offered multiple realization as an empirical hypothesis in the 1960s, philosophical consensus has turned against the idea that mental processes are identifiable with brain processes, and multiple realization has become the keystone of the 'antireductive consensus' across philosophy of science. Thomas W. Polger and Lawrence A. Shapiro offer the first book-length investigation of multiple realization, which serves as a starting point to a series of philosophically sophisticated and empirically informed arguments that cast doubt on the generality of (...)
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  • A Computational Foundation for the Study of Cognition.David J. Chalmers - 2011 - Journal of Cognitive Science 12 (4):323-357.
    Computation is central to the foundations of modern cognitive science, but its role is controversial. Questions about computation abound: What is it for a physical system to implement a computation? Is computation sufficient for thought? What is the role of computation in a theory of cognition? What is the relation between different sorts of computational theory, such as connectionism and symbolic computation? In this paper I develop a systematic framework that addresses all of these questions. Justifying the role of computation (...)
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  • Artificial Intelligence: The Very Idea.Barbara Von Eckardt - 1988 - Philosophical Review 97 (2):286.
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  • Artificial Intelligence: The Very Idea.Andy Clark - 1988 - Philosophical Quarterly 38 (151):249-255.
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  • The Language of Thought.Patricia Smith Churchland - 1975 - Noûs 14 (1):120-124.
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  • Why We View the Brain as a Computer.Oron Shagrir - 2006 - Synthese 153 (3):393-416.
    The view that the brain is a sort of computer has functioned as a theoretical guideline both in cognitive science and, more recently, in neuroscience. But since we can view every physical system as a computer, it has been less than clear what this view amounts to. By considering in some detail a seminal study in computational neuroscience, I first suggest that neuroscientists invoke the computational outlook to explain regularities that are formulated in terms of the information content of electrical (...)
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  • Psychosemantics: The Problem of Meaning in the Philosophy of Mind.Jerry A. Fodor - 1987 - MIT Press.
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  • Chalmers on Implementation and Computational Sufficiency.J. Brendan Ritchie - unknown
    Chalmers argues for the following two principles: computational sufficiency and computational explanation. In this commentary I present two criticisms of Chalmers’ argument for the principle of computational sufficiency, which states that implementing the appropriate kind of computational structure suffices for possessing mentality. First, Chalmers only establishes that a system has its mental properties in virtue of the computations it performs in the trivial sense that any physical system can be described computationally to some arbitrary level of detail; further argumentation is (...)
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  • Content, Computation and Externalism.Oron Shagrir - 2001 - Mind 110 (438):369-400.
    The paper presents an extended argument for the claim that mental content impacts the computational individuation of a cognitive system (section 2). The argument starts with the observation that a cognitive system may simultaneously implement a variety of different syntactic structures, but that the computational identity of a cognitive system is given by only one of these implemented syntactic structures. It is then asked what are the features that determine which of implemented syntactic structures is the computational structure of the (...)
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  • Evolving Enactivism: Basic Minds Meet Content.Daniel D. Hutto & Erik Myin - 2017 - Cambridge, MA, USA: MIT Press.
    An extended argument that cognitive phenomena—perceiving, imagining, remembering—can be best explained in terms of an interface between contentless and content-involving forms of cognition. -/- Evolving Enactivism argues that cognitive phenomena—perceiving, imagining, remembering—can be best explained in terms of an interface between contentless and content-involving forms of cognition. Building on their earlier book Radicalizing Enactivism, which proposes that there can be forms of cognition without content, Daniel Hutto and Erik Myin demonstrate the unique explanatory advantages of recognizing that only some forms (...)
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  • A Theory of Content and Other Essays.Jerry FODOR - 1990 - MIT Press.
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  • Psychosemantics, the Problem of Meaning in the Philosophy of Mind.Jerry A. FODOR - 1987 - Studia Logica 50 (2):356-357.
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  • The Language of Thought.J. A. Fodor - 1978 - Critica 10 (28):140-143.
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  • Representations: Philosophical Essays on the Foundations of Cognitive Science.Jerry A. Fodor - 1981 - MIT Press.
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  • The Natural Origins of Content.Daniel D. Hutto & Glenda Satne - 2015 - Philosophia 43 (3):521-536.
    We review the current state of play in the game of naturalizing content and analyse reasons why each of the main proposals, when taken in isolation, is unsatisfactory. Our diagnosis is that if there is to be progress two fundamental changes are necessary. First, the point of the game needs to be reconceived in terms of explaining the natural origins of content. Second, the pivotal assumption that intentionality is always and everywhere contentful must be abandoned. Reviving and updating Haugeland’s baseball (...)
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  • Computation, Individuation, and the Received View on Representation.Mark Sprevak - 2010 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 41 (3):260-270.
    The ‘received view’ about computation is that all computations must involve representational content. Egan and Piccinini argue against the received view. In this paper, I focus on Egan’s arguments, claiming that they fall short of establishing that computations do not involve representational content. I provide positive arguments explaining why computation has to involve representational content, and how that representational content may be of any type. I also argue that there is no need for computational psychology to be individualistic. Finally, I (...)
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  • Levels of Computational Explanation.Michael Rescorla - 2017 - In Thomas Powers (ed.), Philosophy and Computing: Essays in Epistemology, Philosophy of Mind, Logic, and Ethics. Springer.
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  • A Logical Calculus of the Ideas Immanent in Nervous Activity.Warren S. Mcculloch & Walter Pitts - 1943 - Journal of Symbolic Logic 9 (2):49-50.
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  • The Varieties of Computation: A Reply.David Chalmers - 2012 - Journal of Cognitive Science 2012 (3):211-248.
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  • Explaining the Computational Mind.Marcin Miłkowski - 2013 - MIT Press.
    In the book, I argue that the mind can be explained computationally because it is itself computational—whether it engages in mental arithmetic, parses natural language, or processes the auditory signals that allow us to experience music. All these capacities arise from complex information-processing operations of the mind. By analyzing the state of the art in cognitive science, I develop an account of computational explanation used to explain the capacities in question.
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  • The Role of Representation in Computation.Gerard O'Brien & Jon Opie - 2009 - Cognitive Processing 10 (1):53-62.
    Reformers urge that representation no longer earns its explanatory keep in cognitive science, and that it is time to discard this troublesome concept. In contrast, we hold that without representation cognitive science is utterly bereft of tools for explaining natural intelligence. In order to defend the latter position, we focus on the explanatory role of representation in computation. We examine how the methods of digital and analog computation are used to model a relatively simple target system, and show that representation (...)
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  • Representations: Philosophical Essays on the Foundations of Cognitive Science.Jerry A. Fodor - 1983 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 34 (2):175-182.
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  • Sweet Dreams: Philosophical Obstacles to a Science of Consciousness.Daniel Dennett - 2006 - Filosoficky Casopis 54:475-476.
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  • On Computable Numbers, with an Application to the Entscheidungsproblem.Alan Turing - 1936 - Proceedings of the London Mathematical Society 42 (1):230-265.
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  • Defending the Semantic Conception of Computation in Cognitive Science.Gerard O'Brien - 2011 - Journal of Cognitive Science 12 (4):381-99.
    Cognitive science is founded on the conjecture that natural intelligence can be explained in terms of computation. Yet, notoriously, there is no consensus among philosophers of cognitive science as to how computation should be characterised. While there are subtle differences between the various accounts of computation found in the literature, the largest fracture exists between those that unpack computation in semantic terms (and hence view computation as the processing of representations) and those, such as that defended by Chalmers (2011), that (...)
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