What Computationalism is and what it is *not*

From: Lee Corbin <lcorbin.domain.name.hidden>
Date: Thu, 1 Sep 2005 18:05:49 -0700

Bruno writes

> Tegmark's paper is interesting, except that he still (like many physicists) puts
> the mind-body problem under the rug, and so he misses the impact of incompleteness,
> and the fact that at the level of mathematical Platonism, the physical world is not
> just a mathematical structure among others. With comp, although physics is secondary,
> the physical world is not just a mathematical structure among others, but a very
> special mathematical structures emerging from existing relations among a vast set
> of mathematical structures.

Again, you seem to insist on your own language.

First, you admitted that by "COMP" or "comp" you *meant* computationalism.

Then you overlay all your own beliefs on computationalism,
which certainly confuses a lot of people.

Here is what wikipedia says: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Connectionism

"Computationalism is a specific form of cognitivism which argues that mental activity is computational, i.e. that the mind is
essentially a Turing machine. Many researchers argued that the trend in connectionism was towards a reversion to associationism, and
the abandonment of the idea of a language of thought, something they felt was mistaken. On the other hand, it was those very
tendencies that made connectionism attractive for other researchers.

"Connectionism and computationalism need not be at odds per se, but the debate as it was phrased in the late 1980s and early 1990s
certainly led to opposition between the two approaches. However, throughout the debate some researchers have argued that
connectionism and computationalism are fully compatible, though nothing like a consensus has ever been reached. The differences
between the two approaches that are usually cited are the following:

    * Computationalists posit symbolic models that do not resemble underlying brain
      structure at all, whereas connectionists engage in "low level" modeling, trying
      to ensure that their models resemble neurological structures.
    * Computationalists generally focus on the structure of explicit symbols (mental
      models) and syntactical rules for their internal manipulation, whereas
      connectionists focus on learning from environmental stimuli and storing
      this information in a form of connections between neurons.
    * Computationalists believe that internal mental activity consists of manipulation
      of explicit symbols, whereas connectionists believe that the manipulation of
      explicit symbols is a poor model of mental activity.

So please, Bruno, quit trying to imply that all computationalists (e.g. me)
believe *only* on the UDist or only in mathematical structures.

For many, many years whenever you wrote "COMP" I assumed that you meant your
own theories. Naturally that included this extremely speculative concept of
Schmidhuber's and others that that both time and our physical reality are
merely a manifestation of timeless bitstrings.

See also http://website.lineone.net/~kwelos/AI.htm

"(2) Philosophical AI or Computationalism"
"Secondly, and of more relevance to this discussion, is computationalism or philosophical AI, (sometimes also known as Strong AI),
which is the view that all human mental activities are reducible to algorithms, and could therefore be implemented on a computer.
Computationalism is an essential tenet of physicalism, which states that there is no need to assume any spiritual or non-algorithmic
aspect to existence.

"Computationalism is thus diametrically opposed to Buddhist philosophy, which regards the subtle mind (that which survives death
and goes on to the next life) as a fundamental aspect of reality, not an epiphenomenon of matter. Buddhism views a sentient being,
human or animal and its mind, as a totally different kind of thing from a machine or automaton."

Received on Thu Sep 01 2005 - 21:08:22 PDT

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.3.0 : Fri Feb 16 2018 - 13:20:11 PST