Toward a formal philosophy of hypercomputation

Minds and Machines 12 (2):241-258 (2002)
Does what guides a pastry chef stand on par, from the standpoint of contemporary computer science, with what guides a supercomputer? Did Betty Crocker, when telling us how to bake a cake, provide an effective procedure, in the sense of `effective' used in computer science? According to Cleland, the answer in both cases is ``Yes''. One consequence of Cleland's affirmative answer is supposed to be that hypercomputation is, to use her phrase, ``theoretically viable''. Unfortunately, though we applaud Cleland's ``gadfly philosophizing'' (as, in fact, seminal), we believe that unless such a modus operandi is married to formal philosophy, nothing conclusive will be produced (as evidenced by the problems plaguing Cleland's work that we uncover). Herein, we attempt to pull off not the complete marriage for hypercomputation, but perhaps at least the beginning of a courtship that others can subsequently help along.
Keywords algorithms   classical and constructivist mathematics   computationalism   effective procedures   hypercomputation
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