Minds and Machines 5 (1):9-23 (1995)
|Abstract||Horsten and Roelants have raised a number of important questions about my analysis of effective procedures and my evaluation of the Church-Turing thesis. They suggest that, on my account, effective procedures cannot enter the mathematical world because they have a built-in component of causality, and, hence, that my arguments against the Church-Turing thesis miss the mark. Unfortunately, however, their reasoning is based upon a number of misunderstandings. Effective mundane procedures do not, on my view, provide an analysis of ourgeneral concept of an effective procedure; mundane procedures and Turing machine procedures are different kinds of procedure. Moreover, the same sequence ofparticular physical action can realize both a mundane procedure and a Turing machine procedure; it is sequences of particular physical actions, not mundane procedures, which enter the world of mathematics. I conclude by discussing whether genuinely continuous physical processes can enter the world of real numbers and compute real-valued functions. I argue that the same kind of correspondence assumptions that are made between non-numerical structures and the natural numbers, in the case of Turing machines and personal computers, can be made in the case of genuinely continuous, physical processes and the real numbers|
|Keywords||Computation Logic Science Testing Turing, A|
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