What is Cognitive Science

Understanding Computational Models of Mind

Dr. Frances Egan

Thursday, October 22, 2015, 01:00pm - 02:00pm

Rutgers University, Department of Philosophy

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The so-called 'computational theory of mind' claims that mental processes are computational processes. After explaining how this claim should be understood, I consider the popular view that it is just a metaphor to speak of the mind as a computer. I argue that this view is mistaken: computationalism, if true, implies that the human mind is a computer in the same sense that iPads and hand calculators are computers. I then consider how computational explanations of cognitive capacities are constrained by our commonsense conception of ourselves, and how computationalism puts pressure on the very idea of mind.

Dr. Frances Egan


"What is Cognitive Science?"

This lunchtime talks series is designed to introduce the University community to issues in Cognitive Science. Cognitive Science is one the the few fields where modern developments in computer science and artificial intelligence promise to shed light on classical problems in psychology and the philosophy of the mind. Ancient questions of how we see the world, understand language, and reason, and questions such as 'how a material system can know about the outside world', are being explored with the powerful new conceptual prosthetics of computer modeling.

The talks in this lunchtime lecture series are every Thursday during the Fall semester from ** 12:00-1:00 ** in the Psychology Building, Room 101 on  Busch Campus.

Note: Talks are also announced by email (with reminders sent the day of the talk) to people who have requested to be placed on our announce list. If you would like to be added to our announce list, please email the Business Office (business_manager@ruccs.rutgers.edu).