David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Philosophy of Science 74 (4):501-526 (2007)
This paper offers an account of what it is for a physical system to be a computing mechanism—a system that performs computations. A computing mechanism is a mechanism whose function is to generate output strings from input strings and (possibly) internal states, in accordance with a general rule that applies to all relevant strings and depends on the input strings and (possibly) internal states for its application. This account is motivated by reasons endogenous to the philosophy of computing, namely, doing justice to the practices of computer scientists and computability theorists. It is also an application of recent literature on mechanisms, because it assimilates computational explanation to mechanistic explanation. The account can be used to individuate computing mechanisms and the functions they compute and to taxonomize computing mechanisms based on their computing power.
|Keywords||No keywords specified (fix it)|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
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
Colin Allen, Marc Bekoff & George V. Lauder (eds.) (1998). Nature's Purposes: Analyses of Function and Design in Biology. The Mit Press.
Andre Ariew, Robert C. Cummins & Mark Perlman (eds.) (2002). Functions: New Essays in the Philosophy of Psychology and Biology. Oxford University Press.
David J. Buller (ed.) (1999). Function, Selection, and Design. State University of New York Press.
David J. Chalmers (1996). Does a Rock Implement Every Finite-State Automaton? Synthese 108 (3):309-33.
Ronald L. Chrisley (1994). Why Everything Doesn't Realize Every Computation. Minds and Machines 4 (4):403-20.
Citations of this work BETA
Gualtiero Piccinini & Carl Craver (2011). Integrating Psychology and Neuroscience: Functional Analyses as Mechanism Sketches. [REVIEW] Synthese 183 (3):283-311.
Cory D. Wright (2012). Mechanistic Explanation Without the Ontic Conception. European Journal of Philosophy of Science 2 (3):375-394.
Corey J. Maley (2011). Analog and Digital, Continuous and Discrete. Philosophical Studies 155 (1):117-131.
Gualtiero Piccinini (2010). The Mind as Neural Software? Understanding Functionalism, Computationalism, and Computational Functionalism. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 81 (2):269-311.
Gualtiero Piccinini (2009). Computationalism in the Philosophy of Mind. Philosophy Compass 4 (3):515-532.
Similar books and articles
Peter Kugel (2002). Computing Machines Can't Be Intelligent (...And Turing Said So). Minds and Machines 12 (4):563-579.
Gordana Dodig-Crnkovic (2011). Significance of Models of Computation, From Turing Model to Natural Computation. Minds and Machines 21 (2):301-322.
B. Jack Copeland & Oron Shagrir (2007). Physical Computation: How General Are Gandy's Principles for Mechanisms? [REVIEW] Minds and Machines 17 (2):217-231.
James H. Fetzer (2000). Computing is at Best a Special Kind of Thinking. In The Proceedings of the Twentieth World Congress of Philosophy, Volume 9: Philosophy of Mind. Charlottesville: Philosophy Doc Ctr. 103-113.
Uri Pincas (2011). Program Verification and Functioning of Operative Computing Revisited: How About Mathematics Engineering? [REVIEW] Minds and Machines 21 (2):337-359.
Gheorghe Paun & Mario J. Pérez-Jiménez (2003). Recent Computability Models Inspired From Biology: DNA and Membrane Computing. Theoria 18 (1):71-84.
Matti Tedre (2011). Computing as a Science: A Survey of Competing Viewpoints. [REVIEW] Minds and Machines 21 (3):361-387.
Gualtiero Piccinini (2003). Computations and Computers in the Sciences of Mind and Brain. Dissertation. Dissertation, University of Pittsburgh
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads39 ( #48,772 of 1,140,344 )
Recent downloads (6 months)4 ( #46,721 of 1,140,344 )
How can I increase my downloads?