This post discusses the widespread notion that the mind is some kind of computer; that the computer is able to represent knowledge, and this knowledge can be about the world. As we shall see, this notion is quite silly, although people—who are either not physicists, mathematicians, or computer engineers, or just happen to have an academic title without an understanding of these subjects—tend to profess it over and over. This post explores the multiple and successive levels at which this notion is flawed, and why fixing it has proven so hard so far. The post ends by commenting on whether it can ever be fixed.
Anyone who has even a preliminary encounter with logic believes that if A = B, then B = A. This is commonly expressed as the belief that if A is B, then B is A. This widespread use of logic is easily shown to be false when we employ two concepts, one of which is more general than the other. For example, “all men are mortal” doesn’t imply that “all mortals are men”, because “mortal” is more general than “men”. This post explores the implications of this fact for the understanding of both mind and matter.