Wednesday, 24 February 2016

Putnam, Searle and Bishop: The Failure of Physicalist Computationalism

I wanted to come out of blog dormancy to write up my thoughts on what I feel is a very important argument against computationalism. The argument advances the view that there is no objective fact of the matter about which computations a physical system is computing, and if this is the case it would certainly seem to problematise computationalism (the view that what it is to be a conscious mind is just to perform the right kind of computation).

In this post I will explain the argument and some of the common responses to it. I'll reserve my own response (which is quite different from that of most computationalists) for a future post.