Does a rock implement every finite-state automaton?

Synthese 108 (3):309-33 (1996)
Authors
David Chalmers
New York University
Abstract
Hilary Putnam has argued that computational functionalism cannot serve as a foundation for the study of the mind, as every ordinary open physical system implements every finite-state automaton. I argue that Putnam's argument fails, but that it points out the need for a better understanding of the bridge between the theory of computation and the theory of physical systems: the relation of implementation. It also raises questions about the class of automata that can serve as a basis for understanding the mind. I develop an account of implementation, linked to an appropriate class of automata, such that the requirement that a system implement a given automaton places a very strong constraint on the system. This clears the way for computation to play a central role in the analysis of mind.
Keywords Automata  Cognition  Computation  Finite  Metaphysics  State  Putnam, H
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DOI 10.1007/BF00413692
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References found in this work BETA

Minds, Brains and Programs.John R. Searle - 1980 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 3 (3):417-57.
Causation.David Lewis - 1973 - Journal of Philosophy 70 (17):556-567.
A Computational Foundation for the Study of Cognition.David J. Chalmers - 2011 - Journal of Cognitive Science 12 (4):323-357.
Psychologism and Behaviorism.Ned Block - 1981 - Philosophical Review 90 (1):5-43.

View all 7 references / Add more references

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