On effective procedures

Minds and Machines 12 (2):159-179 (2002)
Since the mid-twentieth century, the concept of the Turing machine has dominated thought about effective procedures. This paper presents an alternative to Turing's analysis; it unifies, refines, and extends my earlier work on this topic. I show that Turing machines cannot live up to their billing as paragons of effective procedure; at best, they may be said to provide us with mere procedure schemas. I argue that the concept of an effective procedure crucially depends upon distinguishing procedures as definite courses of action(- types) from the particular courses of action(-tokens) that actually instantiate them and the causal processes and/or interpretations that ultimately make them effective. On my analysis, effectiveness is not just a matter of logical form; `content' matters. The analysis I provide has the advantage of applying to ordinary, everyday procedures such as recipes and methods, as well as the more refined procedures of mathematics and computer science. It also has the virtue of making better sense of the physical possibilities for hypercomputation than the received view and its extensions, e.g. Turing's o-machines, accelerating machines.
Keywords Turing machine   causal process   effective procedure   hypercomputation   precisely described instruction   procedure schema   quotidian procedure
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1023/A:1015606528623
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index
Download options
PhilPapers Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 23,316
External links
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library
References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA
Pavel Materna (2009). Concepts and Recipes. Acta Analytica 24 (1):69-90.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Monthly downloads

Added to index


Total downloads

53 ( #90,580 of 1,928,407 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

4 ( #225,536 of 1,928,407 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature

Start a new thread
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.