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Profile: Nir Fresco (Hebrew University of Jerusalem)
  1. Nir Fresco & Phillip J. Staines (2014). A Revised Attack on Computational Ontology. Minds and Machines 24 (1):101-122.
    There has been an ongoing conflict regarding whether reality is fundamentally digital or analogue. Recently, Floridi has argued that this dichotomy is misapplied. For any attempt to analyse noumenal reality independently of any level of abstraction at which the analysis is conducted is mistaken. In the pars destruens of this paper, we argue that Floridi does not establish that it is only levels of abstraction that are analogue or digital, rather than noumenal reality. In the pars construens of this paper, (...)
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  2. Nir Fresco & Phillip J. Staines (2014). Erratum To: A Revised Attack on Computational Ontology. [REVIEW] Minds and Machines 24 (1):141-141.
    Erratum to: Minds & Machines DOI 10.1007/s11023-013-9327-1Acknowledgment was omitted from the original publication of this article, and appears below.
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  3. Nir Fresco & Marty J. Wolf (2014). The Instructional Information Processing Account of Digital Computation. Synthese 191 (7):1469-1492.
    What is nontrivial digital computation? It is the processing of discrete data through discrete state transitions in accordance with finite instructional information. The motivation for our account is that many previous attempts to answer this question are inadequate, and also that this account accords with the common intuition that digital computation is a type of information processing. We use the notion of reachability in a graph to defend this characterization in memory-based systems and underscore the importance of instructional information for (...)
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  4. Nir Fresco (2013). Instructional Information Processing: Replies Considered. [REVIEW] Philosophy and Technology 26 (1):71-72.
    Wolf and White address different aspects of the paper and in this present reply space only permits making two brief remarks. One concerns White’s intriguing observation that digital computation without erasing information is possible. The second concerns the importance of control information in digital computing systems.
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  5. Nir Fresco (2013). Information Processing as an Account of Concrete Digital Computation. Philosophy and Technology 26 (1):31-60.
    It is common in cognitive science to equate computation (and in particular digital computation) with information processing. Yet, it is hard to find a comprehensive explicit account of concrete digital computation in information processing terms. An information processing account seems like a natural candidate to explain digital computation. But when ‘information’ comes under scrutiny, this account becomes a less obvious candidate. Four interpretations of information are examined here as the basis for an information processing account of digital computation, namely Shannon (...)
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  6. Nir Fresco & Giuseppe Primiero (2013). Miscomputation. Philosophy and Technology 26 (3):253-272.
    The phenomenon of digital computation is explained (often differently) in computer science, computer engineering and more broadly in cognitive science. Although the semantics and implications of malfunctions have received attention in the philosophy of biology and philosophy of technology, errors in computational systems remain of interest only to computer science. Miscomputation has not gotten the philosophical attention it deserves. Our paper fills this gap by offering a taxonomy of miscomputations. This taxonomy is underpinned by a conceptual analysis of the design (...)
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  7. Nir Fresco, Concrete Digital Computation: Competing Accounts and its Role in Cognitive Science.
    There are currently considerable confusion and disarray about just how we should view computationalism, connectionism and dynamicism as explanatory frameworks in cognitive science. A key source of this ongoing conflict among the central paradigms in cognitive science is an equivocation on the notion of computation simpliciter. ‘Computation’ is construed differently by computationalism, connectionism, dynamicism and computational neuroscience. I claim that these central paradigms, properly understood, can contribute to an integrated cognitive science. Yet, before this claim can be defended, a better (...)
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  8. Nir Fresco (2012). The Explanatory Role of Computation in Cognitive Science. Minds and Machines 22 (4):353-380.
    Which notion of computation (if any) is essential for explaining cognition? Five answers to this question are discussed in the paper. (1) The classicist answer: symbolic (digital) computation is required for explaining cognition; (2) The broad digital computationalist answer: digital computation broadly construed is required for explaining cognition; (3) The connectionist answer: sub-symbolic computation is required for explaining cognition; (4) The computational neuroscientist answer: neural computation (that, strictly, is neither digital nor analogue) is required for explaining cognition; (5) The extreme (...)
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  9. Nir Fresco (2011). Concrete Digital Computation: What Does It Take for a Physical System to Compute? [REVIEW] Journal of Logic, Language and Information 20 (4):513-537.
    This paper deals with the question: what are the key requirements for a physical system to perform digital computation? Time and again cognitive scientists are quick to employ the notion of computation simpliciter when asserting basically that cognitive activities are computational. They employ this notion as if there was or is a consensus on just what it takes for a physical system to perform computation, and in particular digital computation. Some cognitive scientists in referring to digital computation simply adhere to (...)
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  10. Nir Fresco (2010). Explaining Computation Without Semantics: Keeping It Simple. [REVIEW] Minds and Machines 20 (2):165-181.
    This paper deals with the question: how is computation best individuated? -/- 1. The semantic view of computation: computation is best individuated by its semantic properties. 2. The causal view of computation: computation is best individuated by its causal properties. 3. The functional view of computation: computation is best individuated by its functional properties. -/- Some scientific theories explain the capacities of brains by appealing to computations that they supposedly perform. The reason for that is usually that computation is individuated (...)
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  11. Nir Fresco (2008). An Analysis of the Criteria for Evaluating Adequate Theories of Computation. Minds and Machines 18 (3):379-401.