There is Only One Mind/Body Problem

Stevan Harnad



In our century a Frege/Brentano wedge has gradually been driven into the mind/body problem so deeply that it appears to have split it into two: The problem of “qualia” and the problem of “intentionality.” Both problems use similar intuition pumps: For qualia, we imagine a robot that is indistinguishable from us in every objective respect, but it lacks subjective experiences; it is mindless. For intentionality, we again imagine a robot that is indistinguishable from us in every objective respect but its “thoughts” lack “aboutness”; they are meaningless. I will try to show that there is a way to re-unify the mind/body problem by grounding the “language of thought” (symbols) in our perceptual categorization capacity. The model is bottom-up and hybrid symbolic/nonsymbolic.


cognition; mind; body; consciousness; cognitive science; qualia

Full Text:



Hamad, S., Steklis, H. D. & Lancaster, J. B. (eds.) (1976) Origins and Evolution of Language and Speech. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences 280.

Hamad, S. (1982) Neoconstructivism: A unifying theme for the cognitive sciences. In: Language, mind and brain (T. Simon & R. Scholes, eds., Hillsdale NJ: Erlbaum), 1-11.

Harnad, S. (1982) Consciousness: An afterthought. Cognition and Brain Theory 5: 29-47. hamad82.consciousness.html

Harnad, S. (1984) Verifying machines’ minds. (Review of J. T. Culbertson, Consciousness: Natural and artificial, NY: Libra 1982.) Contemporary Psychology 29: 389-391.

Harnad, S. (1984) What are the scope and limits of radical behaviorist theory? Behavioral and Brain Sciences 7: 720-721.

Harnad, S. (ed.) (1987) Categorical Perception: The Groundwork of Cognition. New York: Cambridge University Press.

Harnad, S. (1987) The induction and representation of categories. In: Harnad 1987. http:/ harnad87.categorization.html

Harnad, S. (1989) Minds, Machines and Searle. Journal of Theoretical and Experimental Artificial Intelligence 1: 5-25. harnad89.searle.html

Harnad, S. (1990) The Symbol Grounding Problem. Physica D 42: 335-346. http://

Harnad, S. (1990) Against Computational Hermeneutics. (Invited commentary on Eric Dietrich’s Computationalism) Social Epistemology 4: 167-172. http://

Harnad, S. (1990) Lost in the hermeneutic hall of mirrors. Invited Commentary on: Michael Dyer: Minds, Machines, Searle and Harnad. Journal of Experimental and Theoretical Artificial Intelligence 2: 321 - 327. ~harnad/Papers/Harnad/harnad90. dyer.crit.html

Harnad, S. (1990) Symbols and Nets: Cooperation vs. Competition. Review of: S. Pinker and J. Mehler (Eds.) (1988) Connections and Symbols Connection Science 2: 257- 260.

Harnad, S. (1991) Other bodies, Other minds: A machine incarnation of an old philosophical problem. Minds and Machines 1: 43-54. ~harnad/Papers/Hamad/harnad9 l.otherminds.html

Harnad, S., Hanson, S.J. & Lubin, J. (1991) Categorical Perception and the Evolution of Supervised Learning in Neural Nets. Presented at Symposium on Symbol Grounding: Problems and Practice, Stanford University, March 1991 In: Proceedings of the AAAI Spring Symposium on Machine Learning of Natural Language and Ontology (DW Powers & L Reeker, Eds.) Document D91-09, Deutsches Forschungszentrum fur Kuenstliche Intelligenz GmbH Kaiserslautern FRG, pp. 65-74. http:// .cpnets.html

Harnad, S. (1992) Connecting Object to Symbol in Modeling Cognition. In: A. Clark and R. Lutz (Eds) Connectionism in Context Springer Verlag, pp 75 - 90. http://

Harnad, S. (1992) The Turing Test Is Not A Trick: Turing Indistinguishability Is A Scientific Criterion. SIGART Bulletin 3(4) (October) 9-10. http://

Hayes, P, Harnad, S., Perlis, D. & Block, N. (1992) Virtual Symposium on Virtual Mind. Minds and Machines 2: 217-238. harnad92.virtualmind.html

Harnad, S. (1993) Grounding Symbols in the Analog World with Neural Nets. Think 2(1) 12-78 (Special issue on “Connectionism versus Symbolism,” D.M.W. Powers & P.A. Flach, eds.). [Also reprinted in French translation as: “L’Ancrage des Symboles dans le Monde Analogique a l’aide de Reseaux Neuronaux: un Modele Hybride.” In: Rialle V. et Payette D. (Eds) La Modelisation. LEKTON, Vol IV, No 2.] http:/ /

Harnad, S. (1993) Artificial Life: Synthetic Versus Virtual. Artificial Life III. Proceedings, Santa Fe Institute Studies in the Sciences of Complexity. Volume XVI. http://

Harnad, S. (1993) Symbol Grounding is an Empirical Problem: Neural Nets are Just a Candidate Component. Proceedings of the Fifteenth Annual Meeting of the Cognitive Science Society. NJ: Erlbaum Papers/Harnad/harnad93.cogsci.html

Harnad, S. (1993) Problems, Problems: The Frame Problem as a Symptom of the Symbol Grounding Problem. PSYCOLOQUY 4(34) frame-problem. 11 http:// http:/ /

Harnad, S. (1993) Exorcizing the Ghost of Mental Imagery. Commentary on: JI Glasgow: „The Imagery Debate Revisited.” Computational Intelligence 9(4) 309-333. http://

Harnad S. (1993) Discussion (passim) In: Bock, G.R. & Marsh, J. (Eds.) Experimental and Theoretical Studies of Consciousness. CIBA Foundation Symposium 174. Chichester: Wiley

Harnad, S. (1994) Levels of Functional Equivalence in Reverse Bioengineering: The Darwinian Turing Test for Artificial Life. Artificial Life 1(3): 293-301. Reprinted in: C.G. Langton (Ed.). Artifial Life: An Overview. MIT Press 1995. http://

Harnad S, (1994) The Convergence Argument in Mind-Modelling: Scaling Up from Toyland to the Total Turing Test. Cognoscenti 1:

Harnad, S. (1994) Computation Is Just Interpretable Symbol Manipulation: Cognition Isn’t. Special Issue on “What Is Computation” Minds and Machines 4:379-390 [Also appears in French translation in “Penser f Esprit: Des Sciences de la Cognition a une Philosophie Cognitive,” V. Rialle & D. Fisette, Eds. Presses Universite de Grenoble. 1996] http://

Harnad, S, (1995) Does the Mind Piggy-Back on Robotic and Symbolic Capacity? In: H. Morowitz (ed.) “The Mind, the Brain, and Complex Adaptive Systems.” Santa Fe Institute Studies in the Sciences of Complexity. Volume XXII. P. 204-220.

Harnad, S. (1995) Grounding Symbolic Capacity in Robotic Capacity. In: Steels, L. and R. Brooks (eds.) The Artificial Life Route to Artificial Intelligence: Building Embodied Situated Agents. New Haven: Lawrence Erlbaum. Pp. 277-286.

Harnad, S. Hanson, S.J. & Lubin, J. (1995) Learned Categorical Perception in Neural Nets: Implications for Symbol Grounding. In: V. Honavar & L. Uhr (eds) Symbol Processors and Connectionist Network Models in Artificial Intelligence and Cognitive Modelling: Steps Toward Principled Integration.

Academic Press, pp. 191-206. http:/ /

Harnad, S. (1995) Why and How We Are Not Zombies. Journal of Consciousness Studies 1: 164-167.

Harnad, S. (1995) The Warp Factor. Guardian (OnLine: OffLine) Thursday February 23

P. 11.

Harnad, S. (1995) Grounding symbols in sensorimotor categories with neural networks. In: IEE Colloquium “Grounding Representations: Integration of Sensory Information in Natural Language Processing, Artificial Intelligence and Neural Networks” (Digest No. 1995/103). harnad95.iee.html

Harnad, S. (1995) What Thoughts Are Made Of. Nature 378: 455-456. Book Review of: Churchland, PM. (1995) The Engine of Reason, the Seat of the Soul: A Philosophical Journey into the Brain (MIT Press) and Greenfield, SA (1995) Journey to the Centers of the Mind. (Freeman) Nature (1995) Harnad/harnad95. churchland.bookrev.html

Harnad, S. (1996) The Origin of Words: A Psychophysical Hypothesis In Velichkovsky B & Rumbaugh, D. (Eds.) “Communicating Meaning: Evolution and Development of Language. NJ: Erlbaum: pp 27-44. Harnad/harnad96. word.origin.html

Hamad, S. (1996) Experimental Analysis of Naming Behavior Cannot Explain Naming Capacity. Journal of the Experimental Analysis of Behavior 65: 262-264. http://

Harnad, S. (1996) What to Do About Feelings? [Published as “Conscious Ecumenism” Review of PSYCHE: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Research on Consciousness] Times Higher Education Supplement. June 7 1996, P. 29. http://

Cangelosi, A., Greco, A. & Harnad, S. (1996) Categorical perception effects in connectionist models. Proceedings of the Annual Conference of the Italian Psychological Association. Experimental Psychology Section. Capri, 30 September

Greco, A., Cangelosi, A. & Harnad, S. (1997) A connectionist model of categorical perception and symbol grounding. Proceedings of the 15th Annual Workshop of the European Society for the Study of Cognitive Systems. Freiburg (D). January 1997: 7.

Harnad, S. (1997) “Lively Flights of Fancy.” Book review of M. Boden (ed.) “The Philosophy of Artificial Life.” Blackwell. Times Higher Education Supplement. January 31, 1997 harnad97.thes.alife.html

Pevtzow, R. & Harnad, S. (1997) Warping Similarity Space in Category Learning by Human Subjects: The Role of Task Difficulty. In: Ramscar, M., Hahn, U., Cambouropolos, E. & Pain, H. (Eds.) Proceedings of SimCat 1997: Interdisciplinary Workshop on Similarity and Categorization. Department of Artificial Intelligence, Edinburgh University: 189 - 195. Harnad/pevtzow97.textures.html

Tijsseling, A. & Harnad, S. (1997) Warping Similarity Space in Category Learning by Backprop Nets. In: Ramscar, M., Hahn, U., Cambouropolos, E. & Pain, H. (Eds.) Proceedings of SimCat 1997: Interdisciplinary Workshop on Similarity and Categorization. Department of Artificial Intelligence, Edinburgh University: 263- -269.

Andrews, J., Livingston, K. & Harnad, S. (1998). Categorical Perception Effects Induced by Category Learning. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition.

Harnad, S. (1998) Turing Indistinguishability and the Blind Watchmaker. In: Mulhauser, G. (ed.) “Evolving Consciousness” Amsterdam: John Benjamins (in press) http://

Harnad, S. (1998) Beyond Object Constancy. Institution of Electrical Engineers (IEE) Seminar on “Self-Learning Robots II: Bio-Robotics” (Digest 98/248: 2/1-2/3) http:/ /www.cogsci. iee.embodiment.html

Greco, A., Cangelosi, A., & Harnad, S. (1998) A Connectionist Model for Categorical Perception and Symbol Grounding.

Harnad, S. (1998) Hardships of Cognitive Science. Review of J. Shear (Ed.) Explaining Consciousness (MIT/Bradford 1997) Trends in Cognitive Sciences (in press)

Csato, L., Kovacs, G, Harnad, S. Pevtzow, R & Lorincz, A. (submitted) Category Learning, Categorisation Difficulty and Categorical Perception: Compututational Modules and behavioural Evidence. Connection Science.

Greco, A., Cangelosi, A., & Harnad, S. (in prep.) A Connectionist Model for Categorical Perception and Symbol Grounding.

Cangelosi, A & Harnad, S. (in prep) On the Virtues of Theft Over Honest Toil: Grounding Language and Thought in Sensorimotor Categories: Grounding Language and thought in Senosimotor Categories. harnad96.1anguage.theft.html

Harnad, S. (in prep) From Praxis to Pantomime to Propositions: Communicative Continuum or Cognitive Hurdles? (Proceedings of the Language Origins Society)

Hamad, S. (in preparation) Icon, Category, Symbol: Essays on the Foundations and Fringes of Cognition. Cambridge University Press.


  • There are currently no refbacks.

ISSN 2392-1196 (online)

Partnerzy platformy czasopism