Computation is just interpretable symbol manipulation; cognition isn't

  title={Computation is just interpretable symbol manipulation; cognition isn't},
  author={Stevan Harnad},
  journal={Minds and Machines},
  • S. Harnad
  • Published 1 November 1994
  • Computer Science, Philosophy, Psychology
  • Minds and Machines
Computation is interpretable symbol manipulation. Symbols are objects that are manipulated on the basis of rules operating only on theirshapes, which are arbitrary in relation to what they can be interpreted as meaning. Even if one accepts the Church/Turing Thesis that computation is unique, universal and very near omnipotent, not everything is a computer, because not everything can be given a systematic interpretation; and certainly everything can't be givenevery systematic interpretation. But… 
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