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Mark H. Bickhard

In: The Philosophy of Psychology

Chapter 13: Troubles with Computationalism

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Troubles with Computationalism
Troubles with computationalism
MarkH.Bickhard
Computationalism

Computationalism is the dominant contemporary approach to cognitive phenomena: phenomena of perception, cognition, reasoning, language—any mental phenomena that involve representation. Computationalism permeates the intertwined fields of cognitive science, cognitive psychology, and artificial intelligence. It grew out of cybernetics and computer studies during the 1950s and ‘60s.

Computers were originally thought of as very fast and powerful calculators. It came to be realized, however, that there is nothing in the functioning of a computer that restricted its domain to calculations and other manipulations of numbers. The electrical patterns that corresponded to numbers in computers could just as easily be taken to represent characters—or tables, chairs, propositions, perceptual features, grammatical structures, and so on. During the 1960s, this move to a conception of ...

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