Mind as Computer

Gerd Gigerenzer

in Adaptive Thinking

Published in print March 2002 | ISBN: 9780195153729
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780199849222 | DOI:

Series: Evolution and Cognition Series

Mind as Computer

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Two influential tools fueled the cognitive revolution: new statistical techniques and the computer. Both started as tools for data processing and ended up as theories of mind. This chapter extends the thesis of a tools-to-theories heuristic from statistical tools to the computer. It is divided into two parts. In the first part, it argues that a conceptual divorce between intelligence and calculation circa 1800, motivated by a new social organization of work, made mechanical computation conceivable. The tools-to-theories heuristic comes into play in the second part. When computers finally became standard laboratory tools in the 20th century, the computer was proposed, and with some delay accepted, as a model of mind.

Keywords: computer; mind; statistical techniques; data processing; mechanical computation

Chapter.  8128 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy

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