[lit-ideas] Re: Turing, Grice, Wittgenstein - Functionalism

  • From: "palma@xxxxxxxxxx" <palmaadriano@xxxxxxxxx>
  • To: lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Sat, 14 Jan 2012 14:20:40 +0200

the (below quoted) position is unstable and rather silly. The question is
is intelligent behavior modular/ yes
so, step 2, let us assume (as the quote suggest) that one such module is
the capacity to do sums-
so step 3, every time I to do 1+1, I think of my parents
here the glaring fallacy and idiocy of the debates about consciousness, the
"machine" who does not think about (my? his? its?) parents is *not *doing
sums.
the remainder is the traditional verbiage of self-styled philosophers who
do not think--



On Sat, Jan 14, 2012 at 2:05 PM, Donal McEvoy <donalmcevoyuk@xxxxxxxxxxx>wrote:

>
>
>   ------------------------------
> *From:* John McCreery <john.mccreery@xxxxxxxxx>**
>
> >Many thanks. Anyone else here disagree with that?>
>
> Without disagreeing the characterisation Palma offers, let us point to one
> central problem with its idea that "to capture what object is you may look
> at what an object does". The problem is that the character of a process
> cannot be exhaustively captured by what that process does. Take a simple
> example: the calculation of a sum, say  '2 + 2 = 4'. This sum may be
> 'processed' or 'performed' by a computer/calculator or by a human. And let
> us say we can characterise the 'process' in similar terms, of inputs and
> outputs say, in either case. Are we to conclude that therefore what a human
> experiences when performing that calculation is the same as what a computer
> experiences (if the computer experiences anything)?
>
> Here we are right back at the metaphysical question of whether we need, in
> the human case, to account for the' processing' in terms of some World 2
> (in P's terminology), whereas in the case of the computer the 'process' is
> entirely to be understood in terms of some World 1. And then there is the
> question, Popper would emphasise, whether we need to bring in some World 3
> to understand both the human World 2 activity of 'mental arithmetic' and
> the construction of a World 1 device like a computer. As soon as we raise
> these questions we can see it is naive, if not vain, to think that 'what it
> is to calculate "2 + 2 = 4"' is captured by a functionalist
> characterisation - that is, captured by what is done in functionalist
> terms. Nor can the human character of the experience of calculating be
> discounted as unimportant to understanding the 'process' - for when we
> explain human errors in 'mental arithmetic' [e.g. 'What is half of 99?' -
> it is not '45.5' as many claim] we  may avail ourselves of a whole level of
> World 2 explanation that we cannot use in accounting for computer errors in
> calculation. (In fact, there are mistakes in mathematics that humans would
> rarely make but a computer easily might [through malfunction or
> misprogramme], as well as vice versa.) Functionalism is doomed insofar as
> it is simply tries to side-step what is metaphysically at stake when the
> issue raises the question of whether what is being 'processed' is at a
> level beyond a mere World 1.
>
> It may be also doomed as a proper explanation of what is happening even at
> a purely World 1 level, but that is another story.
>
> Donal
>
> On Fri, Jan 13, 2012 at 6:10 PM, palma@xxxxxxxxxx 
> <palmaadriano@xxxxxxxxx>wrote:
>
>
>
>
>  the notion (due to Lewis, Putnam, Block, et a.l)
> according to which
> to capture what object is you may look at what an object does.
> One of the consequences is that, in the case of mind, a mind can be
> "implemented" in different and wildly so, physical substrata (e.g.
> suppose a mind has to be able to perceive, humans do it with V cortex and
> a brain, and eyes, and the whole visual neuronal system--
> a compuer can/could do it with a cam, chips, circuitry and so forth — if
> you are functioanlist then the machine and the brain perceive, since
> perceiving is characterized by its function and not by its hardware--
>
> >>> John McCreery <john.mccreery@xxxxxxxxx> 1/13/2012 10:55 AM >>>
>
> Donal, could you or someone else here describe what philosophers mean by
> "functionalism"? When I hear the term, what leaps to mind is a now
> discredited sociological proposition that societies are homeostatic systems
> maintained by negative feedback. "Functions" can mean all sorts of things
> from x=f(y) to a dress-up party. It would help a lot to know what, in
> particular, we are talking about.
>
> John
>
> On Fri, Jan 13, 2012 at 5:33 PM, Donal McEvoy 
> <donalmcevoyuk@xxxxxxxxxxx>wrote:
>
>
>
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "Jlsperanza@xxxxxxx"
>
>

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