Cartesianists, Computationalists, and Codicalists


Cartesianists – There is a material-physical realm and a nonmaterial-nonphysical realm.

Computationalists* – There is one realm made of, or is identical to, or arises from informational-mathematical-computational structures.

Codicalists – There is only a material-physical realm that we have varying degrees of successful access to, or knowledge of via informational-mathematical-computational languages.


* These are “conventional” computationalists. The “natural” computationalists though think the Church-Turing thesis is wrong, and there is some sort of beyond-Turing computing afoot in human consciousness/brains.

It could be the case that a conscious devices can only be built/synthesized out of particular materials (like the particular biochemicals that make up our brain.

Quantum computing plays a role in photosynthesis. Perhaps likewise in consciousness. But you don’t need conscious brains to create “reality”. Maybe plants are enough. 🙂


Philip Thrift


One thought on “Cartesianists, Computationalists, and Codicalists”

  1. Hi Philip,

    I reading enjoyed this post, especially the footnote on conventional computationalists. It brought to mind one of my favorite novels, “Anathem” by Neal Stephenson. The last third of the book is essentially a long exploration/investigation of consciousness from a Many Worlds perspective. At least in this book, our minds/brains absolutely host beyond-Turing processes.

    While I’m sharing authors, having read a few of your posts, I’d suggest Eco. I haven’t read his non-fiction, but the “The Name of the Rose” and “Foucault’s Pendulum” are both excellent reads.



    Liked by 1 person

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