Symbolinen systeemi on mikä tahansa systeemi , joka laskee ja kommunikoi symbolien avulla. Kaksi ilmeistä ja erinomaista esimerkkiä siitä ovat mieli ja tietokoneet. Seuraava on poimintaa Stanfordin yliopiston sivustolta:
A symbolic system is generally a system which computes and communicates using symbols. The two obvious and outstanding examples are, of course, minds and computers.
Symbolic Systems attacks age-old questions about the relation between mind and the world, questions like the following. What is information? What is intelligence? How are they related? Is intelligence more than information processing? Does intelligence require a mind? For that matter, what is a mind? How are minds related to brains? Does intelligence require some sort of biologically-based brain? Or is it possible to create artifacts that process information in a way that we can call them intelligent? What is the relation of mind to the external world? Is the world a creation of mind? Or does the mind explore and discover facts about an independently existing world? Or is the relation more subtle than either of these suggest? What is consciousness? Does intelligence require consciousness? And how does language and meaning fit into the picture? Does thought require language or some other form of representation, or vice versa? What is it that makes language meaningful? And what is the meaning that language is so full of?
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