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Computationalism is Dead; Now What?
Response to Fetzer's
``Minds Are Not Computers: (Most) Thought Processes Are Not Computational"

Selmer Bringsjord
Dept. of Philosophy, Psychology & Cognitive Science
Department of Computer Science
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
Troy, NY 12180 USA tex2html_wrap_inline296 tex2html_wrap_inline298 brings

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In this paper I place Jim Fetzer's esemplastic burial of the computational conception of mind within the context of both my own burial and the theory of mind I would put in place of this dead doctrine. My view in a nutshell: Computationalism will yield Total Turing Test-passing zombies (in the philosopher's sense of `zombie'), but replicating persons will be unreachable for two reasons. One, persons process information at a ``super"-Turing level; two, people enjoy certain properties (e.g., intentionality) beyond the reach of any mere information-processing object. Accordingly, computationalism ought to be supplanted with the engineering of ``sub-person" artifacts and the irreducibly philosophical investigation of personhood. I end with nascent appraisal of Fetzer's interesting semiotic/connectionist replacement for computationalism.

Selmer Bringsjord
Tue May 21 00:31:50 EDT 1996