Mind as Computer
The Social Origin of a Metaphor
Two influential tools fueled the cognitive revolution: new statistical techniques and the computer. Both started as tools for data processing and ended up as theories of mind. This chapter extends the thesis of a tools-to-theories heuristic from statistical tools to the computer. It is divided into two parts. In the first part, it argues that a conceptual divorce between intelligence and calculation circa 1800, motivated by a new social organization of work, made mechanical computation conceivable. The tools-to-theories heuristic comes into play in the second part. When computers finally became standard laboratory tools in the 20th century, the computer was proposed, and with some delay accepted, as a model of mind.
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