When physical systems realize functions

Minds and Machines 9 (2):161-196 (1999)
  After briefly discussing the relevance of the notions computation and implementation for cognitive science, I summarize some of the problems that have been found in their most common interpretations. In particular, I argue that standard notions of computation together with a state-to-state correspondence view of implementation cannot overcome difficulties posed by Putnam's Realization Theorem and that, therefore, a different approach to implementation is required. The notion realization of a function, developed out of physical theories, is then introduced as a replacement for the notional pair computation-implementation. After gradual refinement, taking practical constraints into account, this notion gives rise to the notion digital system which singles out physical systems that could be actually used, and possibly even built
Keywords Artificial Intelligence  Computation  Computer  Physical  Science
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DOI 10.1023/A:1008364332419
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Gualtiero Piccinini (2007). Computing Mechanisms. Philosophy of Science 74 (4):501-526.
Thomas W. Polger (2007). Realization and the Metaphysics of Mind. Australasian Journal of Philosophy 85 (2):233 – 259.
Gualtiero Piccinini (2004). Functionalism, Computationalism, & Mental States. Studies in the History and Philosophy of Science 35 (4):811-833.

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