Thinking, Computation and Reasoning

“passing the Turing Test through rule-governed symbol manipulation cannot be used as a litmus for thinking, because thinking requires semantic understanding, and this is precisely what is absent from Turing’s notion of computation as purely syntactic manipulation of symbols.”


“I happen to think that Fodor’s specific ways of trying to explain semantics (in terms of causal regularities) are inadequate, and that we cannot separate understanding from first-person consciousness. But we seem to be on the same page in holding that computation is at most a way of explaining mental processes such as reasoning, and not of the meaningfulness of mental states.”



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