Turing and the physics of the mind

Copeland, B. Jack (2013). Turing and the physics of the mind. In Cooper, S. Barry and van Leeuwen, Jan (Ed.), Alan Turing: His Work and Impact (pp. 651-659) Waltham, MA, USA: Elsevier. doi:10.1016/B978-0-12-386980-7.50034-4

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Author Copeland, B. Jack
Title of chapter Turing and the physics of the mind
Title of book Alan Turing: His Work and Impact
Place of Publication Waltham, MA, USA
Publisher Elsevier
Publication Year 2013
Sub-type Research book chapter (original research)
DOI 10.1016/B978-0-12-386980-7.50034-4
Open Access Status
ISBN 9780123869807
Editor Cooper, S. Barry
van Leeuwen, Jan
Start page 651
End page 659
Total pages 9
Collection year 2014
Language eng
Formatted Abstract/Summary
Turing’s lecture ‘Can Digital Computers Think?’ was broadcast on BBC Radio on 15th May 1951 (repeated on 3rd July). It was the second in a series of lectures entitled ‘Automatic Calculating Machines’. Other contributors to the series included Max Newman (like Turing from the University of Manchester), Douglas Hartree (University of Cambridge), Maurice Wilkes (Cambridge), and F. C. Williams (Manchester)1. In modern times, ‘Can Digital Computers Think?’ was virtually unknown until 1999, when I included it in a small collection of unpublished work by Turing (‘A Lecture and Two Radio Broadcasts on Machine Intelligence by Alan Turing’, in Machine Intelligence 15) and again in The Essential Turing in 2004. The previously published text, reproduced here, is from Turing’s own typescript and incorporates corrections made in his hand.

In this broadcast Turing’s overarching aim was to defend his view that ‘it is not altogether unreasonable to describe digital computers as brains’. The broadcast contains a bouquet of fascinating arguments, and includes discussions of the Church–Turing thesis and of free will...

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Created: Tue, 18 Mar 2014, 11:57:32 EST by Lucy O'Brien on behalf of School of Historical and Philosophical Inquiry