08 July 2009

Is theory of mind true science?

Using Searle's Chinese Room as a basis, when it was first proposed, it was believed to be untestable because of the limitations of computer technology. Even so, to test it would have required the inclusion of computer science and mathematics. Theory of mind at that point was just philosophy and thus pseudo science (Popper, Kuhn).

But, along came several brilliant philosophers (Mooney comes to mind) who thoroughly destroyed that test and showed that a computer could beat the room.

Now, because theory of mind was able to solve the puzzle of the room without incorporating help from what is considered true sciences, it was able to satisfy Popper's falsifiability, pass Kuhn's test, refute Holism, and complete a Bayesian equation. As such, theory of mind transitioned from pseudo science to true science.

Additional evidence is Dennett being moved from the philosophy department to the cognitive science department, and UGA building an AI program that depends on theory of mind.

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