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Is the Human Mind a Turing Machine?

David King
Synthese
Vol. 108, No. 3, Computation, Cognition and AI (Sep., 1996), pp. 379-389
Published by: Springer
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/20117549
Page Count: 11
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Is the Human Mind a Turing Machine?
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Abstract

In this paper I discuss the topics of mechanism and algorithmicity. I emphasise that a characterisation of algorithmicity such as the Turing machine is iterative; and I argue that if the human mind can solve problems that no Turing machine can, the mind must depend on some non-iterative principle -- in fact, Cantor's second principle of generation, a principle of the actual infinite rather than the potential infinite of Turing machines. But as there has been theorisation that all physical systems can be represented by Turing machines, I investigate claims that seem to contradict this: specifically, claims that there are noncomputable phenomena. One conclusion I reach is that if it is believed that the human mind is more than a Turing machine, a belief in a kind of Cartesian dualist gulf between the mental and the physical is concomitant.

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