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Computation is a Lense

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  • #28297
    Peter
    Member

    “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]

    #28323
    Peter
    Participant

    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.

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