Pinker is a Canadian American psychologist and writer whose initial literature aimed at scrutinizing the problems of language and language acquisition. In his essay, ‘thinking minds’, Pinker delivers one of his…
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According to Pinker, the mind works in a computational manner by processing representations in an algorithmic and rule controlled manner.
Pinker notes that cognitive science has made it possible to study intelligence. It is difficult to define intelligence, but it is seeable. Intelligence is a measure of achieving goals under difficulties by undertaking sound decisions based on set rules. These set of rules provide a base for confirming or proving whether the decisions carried out are intelligent or not. Humans, according to Pinker, stand to learn a lot about the reasoning process and intelligence through computing machines. Intelligence gets derived from information and not from the spirit or a special substance. Pinker counters other definitions of intelligence forwarded by other thinkers such as those from the school of behaviorism who state that intelligence gets described in terms of desires and belief (Pinker 526).
Pinker (536) uses the Turing machine to advance the computational theory of mind. He explains how a machine that can carry out rational thought can get built. The Turing machine processed symbols intelligently to provide data following set definitions, yet it was just an arrangement of gadgets. According to Pinker, the mind works in a similar way.
The computational model of thinking states that the mind has representations, which it processes in a rule controlled and algorithmic way (Pinker 541). But it does not imply that the mind is similar to a machine. According to Pinker, unlike a single general purpose computer, the mind is a collection of computers which he refers to as ‘mental organs’. These ‘organs’ all carry out specialized subject matter, and each has its own learning mechanism.
Pinker’s computational theory of mind offers selling points and others that can get argued as untrue. The first advantage is that it explains how a collection of matter such as the brain or computers can be intelligent. The
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There is an upper limit to functional needs – a person cannot ride two cars simultaneously but there is no upper limit to emotional needs – a person can keep as many cars in their garage as they please. If marketers can create a distinct brand image of their offerings they would be able survive the relentless onslaught from rival brands, else they would simply fade away from this intensely competitive niche market (Ries and Trout 1982).
He substantiates his claim by providing the example of aliens. It is claimed that it does not mean that aliens are unintelligent even if humans fail to understand the meaning of their actions because the set of rules they follow may be unknown to humans. So, according to Pinker the measurement of intelligence of something is to check if it is able to function rationally according to a set of rules and if it is able to overcome hurdles with the use of that set of rules (527).
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