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Paul Schweizer
University of Edinburgh
  1.  78
    Cognitive Computation Sans Representation.Paul Schweizer - 2017 - In Thomas Powers (ed.), Philosophy and Computing: Essays in epistemology, philosophy of mind, logic, and ethics,. Cham, Switzerland: Springer. pp. 65-84.
    The Computational Theory of Mind (CTM) holds that cognitive processes are essentially computational, and hence computation provides the scientific key to explaining mentality. The Representational Theory of Mind (RTM) holds that representational content is the key feature in distinguishing mental from non-mental systems. I argue that there is a deep incompatibility between these two theoretical frameworks, and that the acceptance of CTM provides strong grounds for rejecting RTM. The focal point of the incompatibility is the fact that representational content is (...)
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  2.  66
    Computation in Physical Systems: A Normative Mapping Account.Paul Schweizer - 2019 - In Matteo Vincenzo D'Alfonso & Don Berkich (eds.), On the Cognitive, Ethical, and Scientific Dimensions of Artificial Intelligence. Springer Verlag.
    The relationship between abstract formal procedures and the activities of actual physical systems has proved to be surprisingly subtle and controversial, and there are a number of competing accounts of when a physical system can be properly said to implement a mathematical formalism and hence perform a computation. I defend an account wherein computational descriptions of physical systems are high-level normative interpretations motivated by our pragmatic concerns. Furthermore, the criteria of utility and success vary according to our diverse purposes and (...)
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  3.  34
    Triviality Arguments Reconsidered.Paul Schweizer - 2019 - Minds and Machines 29 (2):287-308.
    Opponents of the computational theory of mind have held that the theory is devoid of explanatory content, since whatever computational procedures are said to account for our cognitive attributes will also be realized by a host of other ‘deviant’ physical systems, such as buckets of water and possibly even stones. Such ‘triviality’ claims rely on a simple mapping account of physical implementation. Hence defenders of CTM traditionally attempt to block the trivialization critique by advocating additional constraints on the implementation relation. (...)
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  4.  45
    Sāṃkhya-Yoga Philosophy and the Mind-Body Problem.Paul Schweizer - 2019 - Prabuddha Bharata or Awakened India 124 (1):232-242.
    The relationship between the physical body and the conscious human mind has been a deeply problematic topic for centuries. Physicalism is the 'orthodox' metaphysical stance in contemporary Western thought, according to which reality is exclusively physical/material in nature. However, in the West, theoretical dissatisfaction with this type of approach has historically lead to Cartesian-style dualism, wherein mind and body are thought to belong to distinct metaphysical realms. In the current discussion I compare and contrast this standard Western approach with an (...)
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  5.  28
    Artificial Brains and Hybrid Minds.Paul Schweizer - 2017 - In Vincent Müller (ed.), Philosophy and Theory of Artificial Intelligence 2017. Cham, Switzerland: Springer. pp. 81-91.
    The paper develops two related thought experiments exploring variations on an ‘animat’ theme. Animats are hybrid devices with both artificial and biological components. Traditionally, ‘components’ have been construed in concrete terms, as physical parts or constituent material structures. Many fascinating issues arise within this context of hybrid physical organization. However, within the context of functional/computational theories of mentality, demarcations based purely on material structure are unduly narrow. It is abstract functional structure which does the key work in characterizing the respective (...)
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