Beyond Formal Structure: A Mechanistic Perspective on Computation and Implementation

Journal of Cognitive Science 12 (4):359-379 (2011)
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Abstract

In this article, after presenting the basic idea of causal accounts of implementation and the problems they are supposed to solve, I sketch the model of computation preferred by Chalmers and argue that it is too limited to do full justice to computational theories in cognitive science. I also argue that it does not suffice to replace Chalmers’ favorite model with a better abstract model of computation; it is necessary to acknowledge the causal structure of physical computers that is not accommodated by the models used in computability theory. Additionally, an alternative mechanistic proposal is outlined.

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Marcin Miłkowski
Polish Academy of Sciences

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