HomePhilosophia: International Journal of Philosophyvol. 15 no. 1 (2014)

Turing and Computationalism

Napoleon M. Mabaquiao Jr.

Discipline: Computer Science



Due to his significant role in the development of computer technology and the discipline of artificial intelligence, Alan Turing has supposedly subscribed to the theory of mind that has been greatly inspired by the power of the said technology which has eventually become the dominant framework for current researches in artificial intelligence and cognitive science, namely, computationalism or the computational theory of mind. In this essay, I challenge this supposition. In particular, I will try to show that there is no evidence in Turing’s two seminal works that supports such a supposition. His 1936 paper is all about the notion of computation or computability as it applies to mathematical functions and not to the nature or workings of intelligence. On the other hand, while his 1950 work is about intelligence, it is, however, particularly concerned with the problem of whether intelligence can be attributed to computing machines and not of whether computationality can be attributed to human intelligence or to intelligence in general.