Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Computation in Action by Erik Myin


"Computation in Action "
by  Erik Myin
(Universiteit Antwerpen)

Monday April 18, at 4.30 pm
Room 104
University of Milan, via Festa del Perdono 3

In this talk, I contrast the idea of computation as an overt activity of a person, as when someone calculates on a blackboard, with the  idea of computation as inner activity that can be carried out by neurons or neural networks. I argue that the active notion is fundamental, both in a logical and a historical sense. That is, Turing’s concept of mechanical computation was derived from the idea of active computation, and the latter remains necessary to make sense of the former. It follows from all this, so I will argue, that the concept of inner computation, as allegedly carried out by neurons or neural networks, has a much more restricted range of application than usually assumed. Then I turn to the question whether the notion of active computation can be applied beyond its paradigmatic context or norm-bound symbol manipulation, to perception. Can persons be said to compute three-dimensional depth by moving their eyes, heads and bodies? Finally, I address the question whether and in what sense overt computational activity whether can be ‘internalized’, for example when a person performs mental arithmetic.

More info: http://neurophilosophy.unimi.it/

Corrado Sinigaglia
Department of Philosophy
University of Milan
via Festa del Perdono 7
20122 Milano - Italy
e-mail corrado.sinigag...@unimi.it

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