Authors
Marcin Miłkowski
Polish Academy of Sciences
Nir Fresco
Ben-Gurion University of the Negev
Abstract
Is the mathematical function being computed by a given physical system determined by the system’s dynamics? This question is at the heart of the indeterminacy of computation phenomenon (Fresco et al. [unpublished]). A paradigmatic example is a conventional electrical AND-gate that is often said to compute conjunction, but it can just as well be used to compute disjunction. Despite the pervasiveness of this phenomenon in physical computational systems, it has been discussed in the philosophical literature only indirectly, mostly with reference to the debate over realism about physical computation and computationalism. A welcome exception is Dewhurst’s ([2018]) recent analysis of computational individuation under the mechanistic framework. He rejects the idea of appealing to semantic properties for determining the computational identity of a physical system. But Dewhurst seems to be too quick to pay the price of giving up the notion of computational equivalence. We aim to show that the mechanist need not pay this price. The mechanistic framework can, in principle, preserve the idea of computational equivalence even between two different enough kinds of physical systems, say, electrical and hydraulic ones.
Keywords computation  computational individuation
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1093/bjps/axz005
Options
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy

 PhilArchive page | Upload history
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

The Rediscovery of the Mind by John Searle. [REVIEW]Daniel C. Dennett - 1993 - Journal of Philosophy 90 (4):193-205.
Brainstorms.Daniel Dennett - 1980 - Philosophy of Science 47 (2):326-327.
The Rediscovery of the Mind.John R. Searle - 1992 - Philosophy 68 (265):415-418.

View all 25 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Mechanisms, Wide Functions, and Content: Towards a Computational Pluralism.Jonny Lee - forthcoming - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science.
Computation, Individuation, and the Received View on Representation.Mark Sprevak - 2010 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 41 (3):260-270.
Individuation Without Representation.Joe Dewhurst - 2018 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 69 (1):103-116.
Computation Without Representation.Gualtiero Piccinini - 2008 - Philosophical Studies 137 (2):205-241.

Analytics

Added to PP index
2019-01-27

Total views
76 ( #121,559 of 2,330,620 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
18 ( #33,616 of 2,330,620 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads

My notes