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WIREs Cogn Sci
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Computational modeling of the mind: what role for mental representation?

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The classical computational theory of mind (CTM) holds that many important mental processes are computations similar to those executed by Turing machines. This article compares two alternative frameworks through which one can develop CTM: formal‐syntactic computationalism and content‐involving computationalism. According to formal‐syntactic computationalism, computation is sensitive to syntax but not semantics. Mental computation manipulates formal‐syntactic items without regard to any representational properties those items may have. According to content‐involving computationalism, certain computational descriptions characterize mental states through their representational properties rather than any alleged formal‐syntactic properties. The article examines strengths and weaknesses of each framework. WIREs Cogn Sci 2015, 6:65–73. doi: 10.1002/wcs.1325 This article is categorized under: Philosophy > Foundations of Cognitive Science Philosophy > Representation

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Philosophy > Foundations of Cognitive Science

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