Computation, individuation, and the received view on representation

Abstract
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
Tyler Burge (1986). Individualism and Psychology. Philosophical Review 95 (January):3-45.
Stuart Glennan (2002). Rethinking Mechanistic Explanation. Proceedings of the Philosophy of Science Association 2002 (3):S342-353.
Daniel C. Dennett (1971). Intentional Systems. Journal of Philosophy 68 (February):87-106.

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Citations of this work BETA
Joe Dewhurst (forthcoming). Individuation Without Representation. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science:axw018.

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