Thinking Computers and Virtual Persons

Thinking Computers and Virtual Persons

Essays on the Intentionality of Machines

1st Edition - November 18, 1994

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  • Editor: Eric Dietrich
  • eBook ISBN: 9781483217659

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Thinking Computers and Virtual Persons: Essays on the Intentionality of Machines explains how computations are meaningful and how computers can be cognitive agents like humans. This book focuses on the concept that cognition is computation. Organized into four parts encompassing 13 chapters, this book begins with an overview of the analogy between intentionality and phlogiston, the 17th-century principle of burning. This text then examines the objection to computationalism that it cannot prevent arbitrary attributions of content to the various data structures and representations involved in a computational process. Other chapters consider that the notion of original intentionality is incoherent. This book argues as well that the only way to build an intelligent machine is to build a neural network. The final chapter claims that an entire theoretical framework in cognitive psychology is incompatible with the view that human brains are computers of some sort. This book is a valuable resource for cognitive scientists.

Table of Contents

  • Contributors


    I. Introduction

    1. Thinking Computers and the Problem of Intentionality

    II. Intentionality and its Discontents

    2. Intentionality Is Phlogiston

    3. Real Machines and Virtual Intentionality

    4. The Myth of Original Intentionality

    5. Computationalism

    III. The Natural Intentionality of Machines

    6. The Causal Powers of CPUs

    7. Could a Machine Think?

    8. Intentionality and Computationalism

    9. Putting One's Foot in One's Head—Part II: How?

    10. Syntactic Semantics

    IV. Intentionality and Beyond

    11. Am I a Computer?

    12. Using Representation to Explain

    13. Human Reasoning About Artificial Intelligence

    Author Index

    Subject Index

Product details

  • No. of pages: 376
  • Language: English
  • Copyright: © Academic Press 1994
  • Published: November 18, 1994
  • Imprint: Academic Press
  • eBook ISBN: 9781483217659

About the Editor

Eric Dietrich

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