Publication 831

Bishop J. M. (2009) A cognitive computing fallacy? cognition, computations and panpsychism. Cognitive Computation 1: 221–233. Fulltext at
Whilst the usefulness of the computational metaphor in many areas of psychology and neuroscience is clear, it has not gone unchallenged and in this article I will review a group of philosophical arguments that suggest either such unequivocal optimism in computationalism is misplaced – computation is neither necessary nor sufficient for cognition – or panpsychism (the belief that the physical universe is fundamentally composed of elements each of which is conscious) is true. I conclude by highlighting an alternative metaphor for cognitive processes based on communication and interaction. Relevance: This paper argues against computational accounts of mind and cognition, discussing Searle, Bishop and Penrose and suggesting a new metaphor for cognition based on interactions and communication. The new metaphor is sympathetic to modern post-symbolic, anti-representationalist, embodied, enactive accounts of cognition.



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