Why everything doesn't realize every computation

Minds and Machines 4 (4):403-420 (1994)
Abstract
Some have suggested that there is no fact to the matter as to whether or not a particular physical system relaizes a particular computational description. This suggestion has been taken to imply that computational states are not real, and cannot, for example, provide a foundation for the cognitive sciences. In particular, Putnam has argued that every ordinary open physical system realizes every abstract finite automaton, implying that the fact that a particular computational characterization applies to a physical system does not tell oneanything about the nature of that system. Putnam''s argument is scrutinized, and found inadequate because, among other things, it employs a notion of causation that is too weak. I argue that if one''s view of computation involves embeddedness (inputs and outputs) and full causality, one can avoid the universal realizability results. Therefore, the fact that a particular system realizes a particular automaton is not a vacuous one, and is often explanatory. Furthermore, I claim that computation would not necessarily be an explanatorily vacuous notion even if it were universally realizable.
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
Options
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
Edit this record
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Mark as duplicate
Request removal from index
Translate to english
Revision history
Download options
Our Archive


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 31,871
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library
References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA
Computation, Implementation, Cognition.Oron Shagrir - 2012 - Minds and Machines 22 (2):137-148.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles
On Implementing a Computation.David J. Chalmers - 1994 - Minds and Machines 4 (4):391-402.
Against Structuralist Theories of Computational Implementation.Michael Rescorla - 2013 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 64 (4):681-707.
Concrete Digital Computation: What Does It Take for a Physical System to Compute? [REVIEW]Nir Fresco - 2011 - Journal of Logic, Language and Information 20 (4):513-537.
When Physical Systems Realize Functions.Matthias Scheutz - 1999 - Minds and Machines 9 (2):161-196.
A Computational Foundation for the Study of Cognition.David J. Chalmers - 2011 - Journal of Cognitive Science 12 (4):323-357.
Quantum Speed-Up of Computations.Itamar Pitowsky - 2002 - Proceedings of the Philosophy of Science Association 2002 (3):S168-S177.
Computation as an Intrinsic Property.C. F. Boyle - 1994 - Minds and Machines 4 (4):451-67.
Notationality and the Information Processing Mind.Vinod Goel - 1991 - Minds and Machines 1 (2):129-166.
Computation, External Factors, and Cognitive Explanations.Amir Horowitz - 2007 - Philosophical Psychology 20 (1):65-80.
What Might Dynamical Intentionality Be, If Not Computation?Ronald L. Chrisley - 1998 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 21 (5):634-635.
Implementation and Indeterminacy.Curtis Brown - 2004 - Conferences in Research and Practice in Information Technology 37.
Added to PP index
2010-12-22

Total downloads
17 ( #324,294 of 2,231,939 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
3 ( #191,075 of 2,231,939 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Monthly downloads
My notes
Sign in to use this feature