Journal of Logic, Language and Information 20 (4):513-537 (2011)
|Abstract||This paper deals with the question: what are the key requirements for a physical system to perform digital computation? Time and again cognitive scientists are quick to employ the notion of computation simpliciter when asserting basically that cognitive activities are computational. They employ this notion as if there was or is a consensus on just what it takes for a physical system to perform computation, and in particular digital computation. Some cognitive scientists in referring to digital computation simply adhere to Turing’s notion of computability . Classical computability theory studies what functions on the natural numbers are computable and what mathematical problems are undecidable. Whilst a mathematical formalism of computability may perform a methodological function of evaluating computational theories of certain cognitive capacities, concrete computation in physical systems seems to be required for explaining cognition as an embodied phenomenon . There are many non-equivalent accounts of digital computation in physical systems. I examine only a handful of those in this paper: (1) Turing’s account ; (2) The triviality “account”; (3) Reconstructing Smith’s account of participatory computation ; (4) The Algorithm Execution account . My goal in this paper is twofold. First, it is to identify and clarify some of the underlying key requirements mandated by these accounts. I argue that these differing requirements justify a demand that one commits to a particular account when employing the notion of computation in regard to physical systems. Second, it is to argue that despite the informative role that mathematical formalisms of computability may play in cognitive science, they do not specify the relationship between abstract and concrete computation.|
|Keywords||Algorithm execution Cognition Computability Concrete digital computation Representation Situated computers Turing machine|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
Similar books and articles
Nir Fresco (2013). Information Processing as an Account of Concrete Digital Computation. Philosophy and Technology 26 (1):31-60.
David J. Chalmers (1994). On Implementing a Computation. Minds and Machines 4 (4):391-402.
Matthias Scheutz (1999). When Physical Systems Realize Functions. Minds and Machines 9 (2):161-196.
David J. Chalmers (2011). A Computational Foundation for the Study of Cognition. Journal of Cognitive Science 12 (4):323-357.
Paolo Cotogno (2003). Hypercomputation and the Physical Church-Turing Thesis. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 54 (2):181-223.
Gualtiero Piccinini & Sonya Bahar (2013). Neural Computation and the Computational Theory of Cognition. Cognitive Science 37 (3):453-488.
Valerie Gray Hardcastle (1995). Computationalism. Synthese 105 (3):303-17.
Ronald L. Chrisley (1994). Why Everything Doesn't Realize Every Computation. Minds and Machines 4 (4):403-20.
C. F. Boyle (1994). Computation as an Intrinsic Property. Minds and Machines 4 (4):451-67.
Mike Stannett (2003). Computation and Hypercomputation. Minds and Machines 13 (1):115-153.
Ronald L. Chrisley (1998). What Might Dynamical Intentionality Be, If Not Computation? Behavioral and Brain Sciences 21 (5):634-635.
Kenneth Aizawa (2010). Computation in Cognitive Science: It is Not All About Turing-Equivalent Computation. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 41 (3):227-236.
Marcin Miłkowski (2011). Beyond Formal Structure: A Mechanistic Perspective on Computation and Implementation. Journal of Cognitive Science 12 (4):359-379.
B. Maclennan (2003). Transcending Turing Computability. Minds and Machines 13 (1):3-22.
Added to index2011-10-18
Total downloads12 ( #101,164 of 722,860 )
Recent downloads (6 months)1 ( #60,917 of 722,860 )
How can I increase my downloads?