By Paul M. Churchland
If we're to unravel the principal difficulties within the philosophy of technology, Paul Churchland argues, we needs to draw seriously at the assets of the rising sciences of the mind-brain. A Neurocomputationial Perspective illustrates the fertility of the techniques and knowledge drawn from the research of the mind and of synthetic networks that version the mind. those techniques deliver unforeseen coherence to scattered concerns within the philosophy of technology, new strategies to previous philosophical difficulties, and new percentages for the firm of technology itself.
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Additional info for A Neurocomputational Perspective: The Nature of Mind and the Structure of Science
Ten thousand? It is difficult to m ake an estim ate, since m ost sensations are arrayed on a qualitative continuum of som e sort, and it is to som e extent arbitrary w here and how finely the lines betw een different kinds are draw n. It is plain, h ow ever, that the num ber of distinct continua that w e recognize, and the num ber of significant distinctions w e draw w ithin each , is sufficiently small that the brain can use the following strategy for m aking noninferential identifications of sensations.
The difficulty w ith any nonform al reductio is that the conclusion against the initial assum ption is alw ays no better than the m aterial assum ptions invoked to reach the incoherent conclusion. In this case the additional assum ptions involve a certain theory of m eaning, one 22 The Nature of Mind that p resu p p oses the integrity of FP. But formally speaking, one can as well infer, from the incoherent result, that this (Gricean) theory of m eaning is w hat m ust be rejected. Given the independent critique of FP leveled earlier, this w ould even seem the preferred option.
The w arm th of a coffee cup turns out to be the vibrational energy of its m olecules. The tartness of one's lem onade turns out to be its high relative concentration of H + ions. A n d so forth. These chem ical, electrom agnetic, and m icrom echanical properties have been briskly discrim inated by us for m any millennia, but only opaquely. The reason is that w e have not possessed the con cep ts n ecessary to m ake m ore penetrating jud gm en ts, and our m echanism s of sensory discrim ination are of insufficient resolution to reveal on Functionalism, Qualia, and Intentionality 31 their ow n the intricacies that w ere eventually uncovered by other m ean s.
A Neurocomputational Perspective: The Nature of Mind and the Structure of Science by Paul M. Churchland