The Nature of Consciousness

Piero Scaruffi

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These are excerpts and elaborations from my book "The Nature of Consciousness"

Symbol  Processing

Craik's ideas predated the theory of knowledge-based systems, which was formalized when the US economist Herbert Simon and the US mathematician Alan Newell   developed their theory of “physical symbol systems” (“Computer Science as Empirical Inquiry”, 1976). Both the computer and the mind belong to the category of physical symbol systems, systems that process symbols to achieve a goal. A physical symbol system is quite simple: the complexity of its behavior is due to the complexity of the environment it has to cope with.

It was their belief that no complex system can survive unless it is organized as a hierarchy of subsystems. The entire universe must be hierarchical, otherwise it would not exist.


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