On implementing a computation

Minds and Machines 4 (4):391-402 (1994)
To clarify the notion of computation and its role in cognitive science, we need an account of implementation, the nexus between abstract computations and physical systems. I provide such an account, based on the idea that a physical system implements a computation if the causal structure of the system mirrors the formal structure of the computation. The account is developed for the class of combinatorial-state automata, but is sufficiently general to cover all other discrete computational formalisms. The implementation relation is non-vacuous, so that criticisms by Searle and others fail. This account of computation can be extended to justify the foundational role of computation in artificial intelligence and cognitive science.
Keywords Artificial Intelligence  Computation  Science  Test  Turing, A
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DOI 10.1007/BF00974166
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References found in this work BETA
John R. Searle (1980). Minds, Brains and Programs. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 3 (3):417-57.

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Citations of this work BETA
Gualtiero Piccinini (2008). Computers. Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 89 (1):32–73.
Thomas W. Polger (2007). Realization and the Metaphysics of Mind. Australasian Journal of Philosophy 85 (2):233 – 259.

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