Paper abstract

The algorithmic mind and what it means to solve a problem

Wim Hordijk

Emergence: Complexity & Organization 16(4), 2014.

In a recent paper in this journal, a claim is made that the mind is not algorithmic. The supporting argument for this claim is that humans frequently solve certain problems which can supposedly not be solved by a computer. However, this argument is based on a fundamental misunderstanding of what it means to solve a problem. Here, I will argue that the provided argument for the claim that the mind is not algorithmic confuses two different meanings of the phrase “to solve a problem”: its formal meaning and its colloquial meaning. As a result, the argument is not logically consistent, and thus does not support the original claim.