COGS 100 Lecture Notes - Pineal Gland, Vitalism, Noam Chomsky

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Published on 28 Nov 2012
Course
Descartes: precursor to COGS
- Realities: physical and subnational.
- Dreams are a reality. They are a phenomenon.
- Science philosophy vs. Church philosophy.
Galileo Suspicion of our reality.
Descartes Easy middle between science and church.
20thC: Steps towards COGS
- COGS turn in PSYC (away from behaviorism)
We will look first a bit at the successes of behaviorism.
- This 20thC COG revolution had two parts:
Developments in the theory of computing and theory of info
Development of info-processing models of COG capacities and
abilities.
- But before we retrace these 20th C steps towards COGS we look at
the deep history, in early modern PHIL.
- Noam Chomsky, a major architect of the 20th C notes that these
developments were really the 2nd revolution. The 1st started with
Descartes.
Chomsky’s contribution: applied computation analysis to
language.
Descartes
- Three main contributions of Descartes to what Chomsky has called
the 1st COG revolution:
1. Substance dualism: mind is an ultimate reality distinct from body,
which is its own ultimate reality. The two interact causally
Substance dualism has been largely rejected by
sc./philosophers.
Mind-body problem it generated, however, remains with us.
Dualists believe that the mind and brain are two separate things.
2. Discovery of the Reflex: interpreted as a mechanical action of the
body, not subject to voluntary control.
Reflects Descartes’ view that the physical/material world is
governed exclusively by quantitative (mechanical) laws of nature.
“The world is a great machine. The human body is a
machine.”
3. Autonomy of psychological (mechanistic/humanistic) explanation
Not all human behavior can be explained in mechanical terms.
(In principal)
Voluntary, reflective behaviors (as in everyday language use)
cannot be accounted for in purely physical/mechanical terms.
- If you can’t explain something mechanically, what are the
alternatives?
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