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Can Turing Oracles model processes of the mind?

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Recently, we noted a new book, Engineering and the Ultimate: An Interdisciplinary Investigation of Order and Design in Nature and Craft and a review copy is on order.

As noted, the discipline of engineering presumes certain foundational truths that are not reducible to mathematical formulas. It presupposes certain things about creativity, beauty, and abstraction in order to operate effectively. The exploration of what they are and why is surely useful.

One author (and a UD author), Jonathan Bartlett writes to say that his paper, available here, offers “a new methodology of cognitive modeling that can include non-material elements.” Here’s the Abstract:

At the core of engineering is human problem-solving. Creating a cognitive model of the task of problem-solving is helpful for planning and organizing engineering tasks. One possibility rarely considered in modeling cognitive processes is the use of Turing Oracles. Copeland (1998) put forth the possibility that the mind could be viewed as an oracle machine, but he never applied that idea practically. Oracles enable the modeling of processes in the mind which are not computationally based. Using oracles resolves many of the surprising results of computational problem-solving which arise as a result of the Tractable Cognition Thesis and similar mechanistic models of the mind. However, as research into the use of Turing Oracles in problem-solving is new, there are many methodological issues.


Here is some info on Turing Oracles.

See also: Engineering, the science of design, and the Ultimate

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I think all there is IS a thinking soul working with memorized facts including facts not readily before ones thoughts. I think man just figures out things already going on. I question anyone ever created anything TRUE not already going on in its basic principals. We have no more wisdom then God. Robert Byers
slightly related: The Mystery of Perception During Near Death Experiences - Pim van Lommel - video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=avyUsPgIuQ0 bornagain77

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