Computation, individuation, and the received view on representation

The ‘received view’ about computation is that all computations must involve representational content. Egan and Piccinini argue against the received view. In this paper, I focus on Egan’s arguments, claiming that they fall short of establishing that computations do not involve representational content. I provide positive arguments explaining why computation has to involve representational content, and how the representational content may be of any type (e.g. distal, broad, etc.). I also argue (contra Egan and Fodor) that there is no need for computational psychology to be individualistic. Finally, I draw out a number of consequences for computational individuation, proposing necessary conditions on computational identity and necessary and sufficient conditions on computational I/O equivalence of physical..
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DOI 10.1016/j.shpsa.2010.07.008
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References found in this work BETA
Stuart Glennan (2002). Rethinking Mechanistic Explanation. Proceedings of the Philosophy of Science Association 2002 (3):S342-353.
Tyler Burge (1986). Individualism and Psychology. Philosophical Review 95 (January):3-45.
Daniel C. Dennett (1971). Intentional Systems. Journal of Philosophy 68 (February):87-106.

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