Classical computationalism—-the view that mental states are computational states—-has come under attack in recent years. Critics claim that in defining computation solely in abstract, syntactic terms, computationalism neglects the real-time, embodied, real-world constraints with which cognitive systems must cope. Instead of abandoning computationalism altogether, however, some researchers are reconsidering it, recognizing that real-world computers, like minds, must deal with issues of embodiment, interaction, physical implementation, and semantics.
This book lays the foundation for a successor notion of computationalism. It covers a broad intellectual range, discussing historic developments of the notions of computation and mechanism in the computationalist model, the role of Turing machines and computational practice in artificial intelligence research, different views of computation and their role in the computational theory of mind, the nature of intentionality, and the origin of language.
About the Editor
Matthias Scheutz is Associate Professor of Cognitive Science and Computer Science at Tufts University.
"This book will provide stimulating reading for anyone interested in exploring new routes in computational modeling, theoretically as well as practically. In particular, it offers a number of new and different perspectives on the issue of what the semantic elements of a convincing successor notion to the classical concept of "computation" could be. And this may soon turn out to be a central topic in future debates concerning the foundations of cognitive science."--Thomas Metzinger, Johannes Gutenberg-Universitat Mainz, GermanyPlease note: Please note that there should be an umlaut over the a in "Universitat." Thank you.
"Can computationalism evolve to address the challenges facing earlier formations? This volume takes a bold initial step in this direction, furnishing provocative new ideas at the interface of cognitive science and philosophy."--James L. McClelland, Carnegie Mellon University
"*The Harmonic Mind* presents a unique synthetic vision of cognitive science, one that everyone interested in cognition, language, mind, and brain will want to know and understand. Over 23 chapters in two volumes, Smolensky, Legendre, and their collaborators lay out a thorough testament to their view that the symbolic and subsymbolic paradigms must be brought together to understand the nature of the human mind. The resulting work is impressive in its scope, encompassing fundamental principles of mental processing and representation and their application to linguistic theory, language processing, and universal grammar. Students just entering the field will find all the background they need to understand the content of the book, while seasoned scholars will find substantial food for thought and discussion."--James L. McClelland, Carnegie Mellon University