Dupuy, The Mechanization of Mind

27 Jan 2023 08:16 - 17 Jun 2023 08:29
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    • Skeptical take on the history of cybernetics.
    • Now cognitive science, from the time of its cybernetic origins up through the present day, has presented a picture of the individual subject itself as a sort of quasisubject; that is, as a collective entity manifesting the properties of subjectivity. When I think, remember, desire, believe, decide, and so on, the subject of these predicates is not a ghost in the cerebral machine, a concealed homunculus as it were; it is the machine itself – in the form, for example, of a network of neurons. On this view there is no ghost in the machine, no center of subjectivity. The attributes of subjectivity are emergent effects produced by the spontaneous, self-organized func­tioning of a complex organization in the form of a network . Cognitive scientists who defend this thesis, or a variant of it, resort to curious expres­sions: Varela speaks of "selfless minds," Dennett of "non-selfy selves, " Minsky of a "society of mind" But the idea, and its source in cybernetic thinking, is clear enough. (p160)