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The normal well-tempered Mind -- A Conversation with Daniel C. Dennett

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  • The normal well-tempered Mind -- A Conversation with Daniel C. Dennett

    .....
    Last edited by eveshi; August 1st, 2013, 06:42 AM.

  • #2
    Did anyone ever think the brain is a uniprocessor Von Neumann machine? I don't think so. Did anyone even think it was a multiprocessor Von Neumann machine? I don't think so.

    The question: Is the brain a hypercomputer and, if so, is there an oracle?

    ~~ Paul

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by eveshi View Post
      THE NORMAL WELL-TEMPERED MIND
      A Conversation with Daniel C. Dennett

      The vision of the brain as a computer, which I still champion, is changing so fast. The brain's a computer, but it's so different from any computer that you're used to. It's not like your desktop or your laptop at all, and it's not like your iPhone except in some ways. It's a much more interesting phenomenon. What Turing gave us for the first time (and without Turing you just couldn't do any of this) is a way of thinking about in a disciplined way and taking seriously phenomena that have, as I like to say, trillions of moving parts. Until late 20th century, nobody knew how to take seriously a machine with a trillion moving parts. It's just mind-boggling.
      More: THE NORMAL WELL-TEMPERED MIND | Edge.org
      Turing believed in the evidence for ESP and he felt a computer couldn't reproduce it. Turing's point was that a computer could be intelligent, not that the brain was a computer.

      Computing Machinery and Intelligence by Alan Turing

      (9) The Argument from Extrasensory Perception

      I assume that the reader is familiar with the idea of extrasensory perception, and the meaning of the four items of it, viz., telepathy, clairvoyance, precognition and psychokinesis. These disturbing phenomena seem to deny all our usual scientific ideas. How we should like to discredit them! Unfortunately the statistical evidence, at least for telepathy, is overwhelming. It is very difficult to rearrange one's ideas so as to fit these new facts in. Once one has accepted them it does not seem a very big step to believe in ghosts and bogies. The idea that our bodies move simply according to the known laws of physics, together with some others not yet discovered but somewhat similar, would be one of the first to go.

      ...

      If telepathy is admitted it will be necessary to tighten our test up. The situation could be regarded as analogous to that which would occur if the interrogator were talking to himself and one of the competitors was listening with his ear to the wall. To put the competitors into a "telepathy-proof room" would satisfy all requirements.

      Comment


      • #4
        Computationalism has been dead for decades. Searle put the final nail in the coffin way back in 1980.

        Pick any architecture you want, Dennett, we have this neat principle called "computational equivalence". If the brain is a computer, it's not one bound by the Turing limit.

        As for Hypercomputation, that doesn't help the crazy computationalists out either. Take a look at the following (it's an easy read):

        G.J. Lokhorst, Why I am not a super-Turing machine, Hypercomputation Workshop, University College, London, 24 May 2000

        PDF: http://homepages.ipact.nl/~lokhorst/...utationUCL.pdf

        Dan Dennett has been beating that dead horse for years. There's a reason people call his infamous popular book on the subject "consciousness ignored".

        Comment


        • #5
          In the 1950s the mind was nothing but behaviour. Qualia was nonsense.
          From the 60s through to the 80s AI would be successful "come next year".
          After the 90s it would just take "another decade surely" before the first intelligent machine arose.

          And through every year of this, Arch-Priest Dennett, has been changing his views to match some sort of Computationalism/Functionalism. But you can never nail him down. Sometimes qualia exists, sometimes not. Sometimes intentional states exist, sometimes not. Sometimes rationalism works, sometimes not. All of those claims were basically answered by Leibniz (and Kant). I can't understand how a person who has read philosophy can think like that.

          Dennett claimed that he would create an intelligent robot-fly (or bug), called COG, which would become intelligent within a few years. A claim no less insane than those of the creationists he so despises.

          Dennett is an ideological figurehead - not a thinker worth ones time.

          More than anything else I think it was Dennetts claims, that seemed so utterly mad to me (but no-one else within academic), that made me question the pseudo-skeptic movement.
          Last edited by Carl Jung; January 9th, 2013, 01:40 PM.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by recompile
            Pick any architecture you want, Dennett, we have this neat principle called "computational equivalence". If the brain is a computer, it's not one bound by the Turing limit.
            It's not? Can you give a proof? For example, does the brain rely on infinite-precision real numbers?

            ~~ Paul

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Carl Jung
              More than anything else I think it was Dennetts claims, that seemed so utterly mad to me (but no-one else within academic), that made me question the pseudo-skeptic movement.
              His ideas may seem utterly mad to you, but why should I assume your feelings are correct?

              ~~ Paul

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Paul C. Anagnostopoulos View Post
                It's not? Can you give a proof?
                Yes.

                See:

                Searle, John. R. (1980) Minds, brains, and programs. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 3 (3): 417-457

                I didn't think that I needed to be that explicit with such a well-known paper.

                Originally posted by Paul C. Anagnostopoulos View Post
                For example, does the brain rely on infinite-precision real numbers?
                No. Bekenstein bound and all that.

                See:

                G.J. Lokhorst, Why I am not a super-Turing machine, Hypercomputation Workshop, University College, London, 24 May 2000

                PDF: http://homepages.ipact.nl/~lokhorst/...utationUCL.pdf

                This sure looks familiar... Did you read my post?

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by recompile
                  No. Bekenstein bound and all that.
                  Okay, so the brain is not a Turing machine, but it's not because neurons compute with infinite-precision numbers.

                  The Searle paper is the original Chinese Room paper. I don't think it proves what people think it does. Shall we start a thread on it?

                  ~~ Paul
                  Last edited by Paul C. Anagnostopoulos; January 10th, 2013, 07:57 AM.

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                  • #10
                    What do you think people think it proves, Paul?

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by XXII
                      What do you think people think it proves, Paul?
                      People think that the Chinese Room argument "proves" that some sort of oracle is required for understanding. That is, neural computation is not sufficient for deriving meaning and so the brain must be a hypercomputer. But I don't believe Searle has successfully shown that, particularly since there are so many issues with the argument.

                      We're getting off topic. Time for a new thread?

                      ~~ Paul

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Paul C. Anagnostopoulos View Post
                        Did anyone ever think the brain is a uniprocessor Von Neumann machine? I don't think so. Did anyone even think it was a multiprocessor Von Neumann machine? I don't think so.

                        ~~ Paul
                        Remember that any multiprocessor can be simulated by a Von Neumann machine that runs a factor of - say - 50 times faster. So the fact that the brain obviously can't be a uniprocessor is about as relevant as the fact that computers usually have USB ports!

                        David
                        Last edited by David Bailey; January 10th, 2013, 10:02 AM.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by David Bailey View Post
                          Remember that any multiprocessor can be simulated by a Von Neumann machine that runs a factor of - say - 50 times faster. So the fact that the brain obviously can't be a uniprocessor is about as relevant as the fact that computers usually have USB ports!
                          Absolutely. I was simply pointing out that no one thought the brain had the architecture of a typical uni- or multiprocessor Von Neumann machine, even if it is Turing compatible. That's why I said the interesting question is whether the brain is a hypercomputer.

                          ~~ Paul

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Paul C. Anagnostopoulos View Post
                            People think that the Chinese Room argument "proves" that some sort of oracle is required for understanding.
                            No one thinks that. Seriously. I don't know where you came up with that, but it's way outside the mainstream.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Paul C. Anagnostopoulos View Post
                              Okay, so the brain is not a Turing machine,
                              No, the brain is not a Turing machine. That's pretty well established.

                              Originally posted by Paul C. Anagnostopoulos View Post
                              but it's not because neurons compute with infinite-precision numbers.
                              Obviously not. The reason the brain is not a Turing machine is completely unrelated to the short-lived notion that it might be a hypercomputer. Where did you come up with this?

                              Originally posted by Paul C. Anagnostopoulos View Post
                              The Searle paper is the original Chinese Room paper. I don't think it proves what people think it does. Shall we start a thread on it?
                              Knock yourself out. Of course, you won't get too far unless you have some way to refute the crux of Searles argument (that syntax alone is insufficient for semantics) that has somehow escaped detection by the professionals for more than 30 years.

                              Unless you have something new to say, I wouldn't waste the time. Computationalism is dead. It's been dead for a long time.

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