Authors
Marcin Miłkowski
Polish Academy of Sciences
Abstract
In this paper, I show how semantic factors constrain the understanding of the computational phenomena to be explained so that they help build better mechanistic models. In particular, understanding what cognitive systems may refer to is important in building better models of cognitive processes. For that purpose, a recent study of some phenomena in rats that are capable of ‘entertaining’ future paths (Pfeiffer and Foster 2013) is analyzed. The case shows that the mechanistic account of physical computation may be complemented with semantic considerations, and in many cases, it actually should.
Keywords physical computation  causal realization  semantic account of computation  mechanistic account of computation  mechanistic explanation
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References found in this work BETA

Explaining the Brain.Carl F. Craver - 2009 - Oxford University Press.
Thinking About Mechanisms.Peter Machamer, Lindley Darden & Carl F. Craver - 2000 - Philosophy of Science 67 (1):1-25.
Functional Analysis.Robert Cummins - 1975 - Journal of Philosophy 72 (November):741-64.
Knowledge and the Flow of Information.F. Dretske - 1989 - Trans/Form/Ação 12:133-139.

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Citations of this work BETA

Mechanisms, Wide Functions, and Content: Towards a Computational Pluralism.Jonny Lee - 2021 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 72 (1):221-244.
Mechanistic Computational Individuation Without Biting the Bullet.Nir Fresco & Marcin Miłkowski - 2019 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science:axz005.
The role of the environment in computational explanations.Jens Harbecke & Oron Shagrir - 2019 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 9 (3):1-19.
The role of the environment in computational explanations.Jens Harbecke & Oron Shagrir - 2019 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 9 (3):1-19.

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