chapter  3
16 Pages

Mind as Machine: The Cognitive Revolution in Behavioral Science

WithHerbert A. Simon

The question of the nature of mind is receiving a great deal of new attention under the label of cognitive science. In the case of problem solving and thinking, the invariants, of course, derive from the fact that the human brain does not change instantly. Symbolic logic deals with thought that has been frozen in symbols. Of course, it also deals with operations on those symbols and with ways of transforming existing symbol structures into new kinds of symbol structures. The usual Darwinian or neo-Darwinian argument is that the fittest survive, where fitness means the ability to propagate genetically identical descendants or genetically similar descendants so that those who are able to produce the most descendants eventually outnumber those who do not multiply. Economics shows a strong tendency to focus on substantive rationality and to ignore the problems of procedural rationality.