Does a Functioning Mind Need a Functioning Body? Some Perspectives from Postclassical Computation

Does a Functioning Mind Need a Functioning Body? Some Perspectives from Postclassical Computation

Colin G. Johnson (University of Kent, UK)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-59904-941-0.ch110
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Abstract

In recent years, the idea that somatic processes are intimately involved in actions traditionally considered to be purely mental has come to the fore. In particular, these arguments have revolved around the concept of somatic markers, i.e., bodily states that are generated by mind and then reperceived and acted upon. This chapter considers the somatic marker hypothesis and related ideas from the point of view of postclassical computation, i.e., the view that computing can be seen as a property of things-in-the-world rather than of an abstract class of mathematical machines. From this perspective, a number of ideas are discussed: the idea of somatic markers extending into the environment, an analogy with hardware interlocks in complex computer-driven systems, and connections with the idea of “just-do-it” computation.

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