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Philosophy and Theology

Volume 31, Issue 1/2, 2019

Richard Taye Oyelakin
Pages 79-95

Why Did the Machine Work?
A Functional-theistic Interpretation from Computational Functionalism

Computational functionalism assumes a synonymy between abstract functional processes in the central processing unit of a typical digital computer and the human brain, hence the conclusion that an appropriately programmed computer is a mind. Arguably, the point is that neural firings are synonymous with the transfer of electrical currents. Both are accountable and susceptible to a physicalist’s explanation. But, the reason they both worked is ultimately premised upon a causal relationship with nature. However, to understand why nature works raises some problems. Nature is either a self-propelled machine or is propelled by another force. The paper submits that, much as the discourse implies some form of “theism,” the only consistent construal is functional-theism. This, again, raises further problems.

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