The Legacy of Alan Turing: Connectionism, Concepts, and Folk Psychology. - Vol. 2

The Legacy of Alan Turing: Connectionism, Concepts, and Folk Psychology. - Vol. 2

The Legacy of Alan Turing: Connectionism, Concepts, and Folk Psychology. - Vol. 2

The Legacy of Alan Turing: Connectionism, Concepts, and Folk Psychology. - Vol. 2

Synopsis

This is the second of two volumes of essays in commemoration of Alan Turing; it celebrates his intellectual legacy within the philosophy of mind and cognitive science. A distinguished international cast of contributors focus on the relationship beteen a scientific, computational image of the mind and a common-sense picture of the mind as an inner arena populated by concepts, beliefs, intentions, and qualia. Topics covered include the causal potency of folk- psychological states, the connectionist reconception of learning and concept formation, the understanding of the notion of computation itself, and the relation between philosophical and psychological theories of concepts.

Excerpt

Andy Clark

This is the second of two volumes of essays in commemoration of Alan Turing. Unlike the first volume Machines and Thought, the present collection does not specifically address Turing's classic contributions to the understanding of mind and computation. Instead, we here celebrate Turing's intellectual legacy: the continuing attempt to display the precise relationship between the scientific image of mind (given, we are assuming, in broadly computational terms) and our common-sense picture of ourselves as grasping concepts, acting for reasons, and possessed of a rich, subjective mental life. the space of possible relations between these two images of the mind (which Wilfrid Sellars termed the Manifest Image and the Scientific Image) is large and surprisingly complex. It is especially complex relative to certain philosophical projects which pursue the possible impact of new scientific images of mind upon our assessment of the folk framework as a means of properly describing and explaining intelligent behaviours. Roughly speaking, we may discern three major positions as regards the (putative) inner analogues of the class of constructs deployed in daily, common-sense mentalistic talk. These are:

(I) Gross Descriptivism: the common sense constructs (concepts, beliefs, propositionally identified contents etc.) are nothing but descriptions of large-scale behavioural dispositions of whole agents. According to this view, no neat inner analogues to the folk constructs are to be found.

(2) Modest Internalism: the common-sense constructs serve to pick out transient and/or large-scale features of internal (e.g. neural or computational organization). Examples might include the identification of concepts with distributed, context-dependent . . .

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