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Cognitive Computation sans Representation

In Thomas Powers (ed.), Philosophy and Computing: Essays in epistemology, philosophy of mind, logic, and ethics,. Cham, Switzerland: Springer. pp. 65-84 (2017)

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  1. The Rediscovery of the Mind by John Searle. [REVIEW]Daniel C. Dennett - 1993 - Journal of Philosophy 90 (4):193-205.
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  • The Meaning of 'Meaning'.Hilary Putnam - 1975 - Minnesota Studies in the Philosophy of Science 7:131-193.
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  • Language and Nature.Noam Chomsky - 1995 - Mind 104 (413):1-61.
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  • The Causal Relevance of Content to Computation.Michael Rescorla - 2014 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 88 (1):173-208.
    Many philosophers worry that the classical computational theory of mind (CTM) engenders epiphenomenalism. Building on Block’s (1990) discussion, I formulate a particularly troubling version of this worry. I then present a novel solution to CTM’s epiphenomenalist conundrum. I develop my solution within an interventionist theory of causal relevance. My solution departs substantially from orthodox versions of CTM. In particular, I reject the widespread picture of digital computation as formal syntactic manipulation.1.
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  • Satisfaction Conditions in Anticipatory Mechanisms.Marcin Miłkowski - 2015 - Biology and Philosophy 30 (5):709-728.
    The purpose of this paper is to present a general mechanistic framework for analyzing causal representational claims, and offer a way to distinguish genuinely representational explanations from those that invoke representations for honorific purposes. It is usually agreed that rats are capable of navigation because they maintain a cognitive map of their environment. Exactly how and why their neural states give rise to mental representations is a matter of an ongoing debate. I will show that anticipatory mechanisms involved in rats’ (...)
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  • The Language of Thought: No Syntax Without Semantics.Tim Crane - 1990 - Mind and Language 5 (3):187-213.
    Many philosophers think that being in an intentional state is a matter of being related to a sentence in a mental language-a 'Language of Thought' (see especially Fodor 1975, 1987 Appendix; Field 1978). According to this view-which I shall call 'the LT hypothesis'-when anyone has a belief or a desire or a hope with a certain content, they have a sentence of this language, with that content, 'written' in their heads. The claim is meant quite literally: the mental representations that (...)
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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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  • Psychology From an Empirical Standpoint.Franz Brentano - 1874 - Routledge.
    Unlike the first English translation in 1974, this edition contains the text corresponding to Brentano's original 1874 edition.
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  • The Rediscovery of the Mind.John R. Searle - 1992 - Philosophy 68 (265):415-418.
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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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  • The Extended Mind.Andy Clark & David J. Chalmers - 1998 - Analysis 58 (1):7-19.
    Where does the mind stop and the rest of the world begin? The question invites two standard replies. Some accept the demarcations of skin and skull, and say that what is outside the body is outside the mind. Others are impressed by arguments suggesting that the meaning of our words "just ain't in the head", and hold that this externalism about meaning carries over into an externalism about mind. We propose to pursue a third position. We advocate a very different (...)
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  • The Mind-Body Problem.Jerry Fodor - 1981 - Scientific American 244 (1):114-25.
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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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  • A Mathematical Theory of Communication.Claude E. Shannon - 1948 - Bell System Technical Journal 27:379–423.
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  • Individuation Without Representation.Joe Dewhurst - 2018 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 69 (1):103-116.
    ABSTRACT Shagrir and Sprevak explore the apparent necessity of representation for the individuation of digits in computational systems.1 1 I will first offer a response to Sprevak’s argument that does not mention Shagrir’s original formulation, which was more complex. I then extend my initial response to cover Shagrir’s argument, thus demonstrating that it is possible to individuate digits in non-representational computing mechanisms. I also consider the implications that the non-representational individuation of digits would have for the broader theory of computing (...)
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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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  • Intelligence Without Representation.Rodney Brooks - 1991 - Artificial Intelligence 47 (1--3):139-159.
    Artificial intelligence research has foundered on the issue of representation. When intelligence is approached in an incremental manner, with strict reliance on interfacing to the real world through perception and action, reliance on representation disappears. In this paper we outline our approach to incrementally building complete intelligent Creatures. The fundamental decomposition of the intelligent system is not into independent information processing units which must interface with each other via representations. Instead, the intelligent system is decomposed into independent and parallel activity (...)
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  • The Mind-Body Problem.Jerry Fodor - 2003 - In John Heil (ed.), Philosophy of Mind: A Guide and Anthology. Oxford University Press.
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  • Computational Models: A Modest Role for Content.Frances Egan - 2010 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 41 (3):253-259.
    The computational theory of mind construes the mind as an information-processor and cognitive capacities as essentially representational capacities. Proponents of the view claim a central role for representational content in computational models of these capacities. In this paper I argue that the standard view of the role of representational content in computational models is mistaken; I argue that representational content is to be understood as a gloss on the computational characterization of a cognitive process.Keywords: Computation; Representational content; Cognitive capacities; Explanation.
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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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  • Computation and Content.Frances Egan - 1995 - Philosophical Review 104 (2):181-203.
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  • Thoughts Without Laws: Cognitive Science with Content.Ruth Garrett Millikan - 1986 - Philosophical Review 95 (January):47-80.
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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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