This talk describes how traditional mechanical concepts of force, inertia, and work provide a new language for analyzing thinking and for characterizing realistic notions of rationality. I first sketch a natural extension of the axioms of modern rational mechanics to discrete and hybrid mechanical systems in which some kinds of minds exhibit actual, non-metaphorical mental forces and mental inertia. I then illustrate the ideas by identifying forces and masses entering into a simple kind of reasoning agent, and by sketching how mechanical work in such systems provides a measure of mental effort.
Subjects: 9. Foundational Issues
Submitted: Mar 3, 2006