Chapter

Minds and Machines

Richard Tieszen

in After Gödel

Published in print May 2011 | ISBN: 9780199606207
Published online May 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191725500 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199606207.003.0007
Minds and Machines

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Are human minds just Turing machines or some kind of computational information processors? Many scholars, including Gödel himself, have thought that the incompleteness theorems have important implications for this issue. There has been disagreement, however, about exactly what the implications, if any, are. This chapter sets out Gödel's remarks on the issue, based on his published and unpublished writings and some comments in the Nachlass. Turing's analysis of mechanical computability is briefly described. The kind of platonic rationalism developed in earlier chapters of the book is then applied to this question, resulting in the view that human monads could not be (Turing) machines. An important and novel part of the argument turns on what Husserl would regard as a genetic analysis of the claim that minds are machines. A few words in support of Gödel's rationalistic optimism are offered at the end of the chapter

Keywords: Turing machines; incompleteness; minds; monads; absolute undecidability; intentionality; mechanism; origins; optimism

Chapter.  13687 words. 

Subjects: History of Western Philosophy

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