h+ Magazine

Computation is a Lense

Viewing 2 posts - 1 through 2 (of 2 total)
  • Author
  • #28297

    “Face It,” says psychologist Gary Marcus in The New York Times, “Your Brain is a Computer”.

    [See the full post at: Computation is a Lense]


    This article makes a fundamental philosophical error. Yes, it is true that your brain computes things. It may even be the computational properties of the brain (weighed against it’s resource cost) that are what drove it’s evolution. Idealizing the brain as a computational system may be very useful for all sorts of purposes.

    However, it’s just downright false to claim that your brain just is nothing but it’s computational properties. It’s made primarily out of carbon, it contains neurons and has all sorts of other properties that aren’t reducible to purely computational ones.

    This is important because it’s far from clear that the brain’s computational properties are what is responsible for the mind (i.e. subjective experience). Maybe only certain ways of performing those computations (or certain substrates) give rise to subjective experience.

Viewing 2 posts - 1 through 2 (of 2 total)
  • You must be logged in to reply to this topic.