Computation, Implementation, Cognition

Minds and Machines 22 (2):137-148 (2012)
Abstract
Putnam (Representations and reality. MIT Press, Cambridge, 1988) and Searle (The rediscovery of the mind. MIT Press, Cambridge, 1992) famously argue that almost every physical system implements every finite computation. This universal implementation claim, if correct, puts at the risk of triviality certain functional and computational views of the mind. Several authors have offered theories of implementation that allegedly avoid the pitfalls of universal implementation. My aim in this paper is to suggest that these theories are still consistent with a weaker result, which is the nomological possibility of systems that simultaneously implement different complex automata. Elsewhere I (Shagrir in J Cogn Sci, 2012) argue that this simultaneous implementation result challenges a computational sufficiency thesis (articulated by Chalmers in J Cogn Sci, 2012). My focus here is on theories of implementation. After presenting the basic simultaneous implementation construction, I argue that these theories do not avoid the simultaneous implementation result. The conclusion is that the idea that the implementation of the right kind of automaton suffices for a possession of a mind is dubious
Keywords Computational structure  Universal implementation  Simultaneous implementation  Mind  Grouping  Inputs and outputs
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References found in this work BETA
Carol E. Cleland (2002). On Effective Procedures. Minds and Machines 12 (2):159-179.

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Michael Rescorla (2013). Against Structuralist Theories of Computational Implementation. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 64 (4):681-707.
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