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Rethinking Cognitive Computation explores the hypothesis that the mind is a computer. The exploration is based on the pioneering work of Alan Turing and presents the first detailed exposition of his theory of computation intended specifically for psychologists. Turing's bold and beautiful theory provides an ideal perspective from which to evaluate current computational thinking about the mind. The book examines the strengths and weaknesses of symbol systems and connectionist theorising and proposes a new approach called ecological functionalism. Ecological functionalism is based on Turing's fundamental insights and extends them by drawing on contemporary theories of concurrent and distributed computation to cover a wide range of psychological domains. Ecological functionalism provides the basis for a powerful, unified theory of great scope which includes social as well as individual processes. The book is intended for teaching but will also be of interest to researchers in cognitive science, psychology and philosophy of mind.
Andrew Wells is a lecturer in psychology at the London School of Economics and Political Science. He has qualifications in philosophy, psychology and computer science and has published papers on a range of psychological topics.
|Publisher:||Macmillan Education UK|
|Product dimensions:||6.10(w) x 9.25(h) x 0.03(d)|
About the Author
Table of ContentsIntroduction.- Making the Modern Mind.- Functional States and Mini-minds.- Exploring Sets of Mini-minds.- Environments and Actions.- Turing's Analysis of Computation.- Turing's Example Machines.- Turing's Functional Notation.- Standard Descriptions and Description Numbers.- Basic Components of the Universal Machine.- Simulation.- The Universal Machine in Detail.- Turing's Unsolvability Proofs.- Von Neumann Computer Architecture.- Virtual Architecture.- The Commitments of the Computational Theory of Mind.- Evaluating the Computational Theory of Mind.- Connectionism.- Ecological Functionalism: Computation.- Ecological Functionalism: Psychology.- References.
What People are Saying About This
Rethinking Cognitive Computation provides a fresh perspective on Alan Turing's role in the 'cognitive revolution', and on the relation between Turing machines and modern computers...This highly original book should be required reading for anyone interested in the history and foundations of cognitive science.' - Frances Egan, Rutgers University Department of Philosophy and Centre for Cognitive Science, USA
'An interesting and spirited defense of the relevance of Turing's account of computation to cognitive science...This is a fascinating proposal that should interest researchers and students across the broad range of disciplines involved in the cognitive sciences.' - Mike Oaksford, Professor of Psychology, Birkbeck College, University of London, UK
'In this provocative combination of contemporary theory-building and historical enquiry, Wells asks whether the Turing machine, that stalwart of classical cognitive science, should be seen as a forward-looking model of environmentally embedded cognition. He makes a convincing case for it in this rich and intriguing book.' - Andy Clark, Professor of Philosophy, Edinburgh University, UK