“Is the mind a kind of computation?”

Is the mind a kind of computation? No. In fact, the mind is the antithesis of computation. The reason is obvious when you think about it. Mental activity always has meaning—every thought is about something. Computation always lacks meaning in itself. A word processing program doesn’t care about the opinion that you’re expressing when you use it. A digital camera doesn’t care what you’re taking a picture of. In fact, the great utility of computation is that it doesn’t have its own meaning so you can use it as a substrate to express any meaning you choose. Because the mind always has meaning and computation never has meaning, the mind is not computation. In fact, the mind is the opposite of computation.

The Mind Is the Opposite of a Computer by Michael Egnor

Elegantly put!

Egnor continues to link the mind, the soul, and the uses and limits of the computation model:

Succinctly, the brain is an organ and some of its functions can be described as computation. The mind is obviously related to the brain but the relationship is complex and is best understood from the perspective of hylemorphic metaphysics. Concrete thought arises from brain function but abstract thought is inherently immaterial. Although abstract thought is influenced by brain function, it does not arise from it. The mind itself (as distinct from the brain) is no form of computation, and in fact the mind is the antithesis of computation.

Cobb is in the right track in critiquing the computational model of the brain and the mind. His materialism prevents him from following his genuine insights to their logical conclusion: Human beings have souls with material and immaterial powers, and some of the material powers are caused by the brain.

The Mind Is the Opposite of a Computer by Michael Egnor

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