Computers

Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 89 (1):32–73 (2004)
Authors
Gualtiero Piccinini
University of Missouri, St. Louis
Abstract
I offer an explication of the notion of computer, grounded in the practices of computability theorists and computer scientists. I begin by explaining what distinguishes computers from calculators. Then, I offer a systematic taxonomy of kinds of computer, including hard-wired versus programmable, general-purpose versus special-purpose, analog versus digital, and serial versus parallel, giving explicit criteria for each kind. My account is mechanistic: which class a system belongs in, and which functions are computable by which system, depends on the system's mechanistic properties. Finally, I briefly illustrate how my account sheds light on some issues in the history and philosophy of computing as well as the philosophy of mind.
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
Reprint years 2008
DOI 10.1111/j.1468-0114.2008.00309.x
Options
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

Our Archive


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 34,938
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

The Language of Thought.Jerry A. Fodor - 1975 - Harvard University Press.

View all 75 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

The Physical Church-Turing Thesis: Modest or Bold?Gualtiero Piccinini - 2011 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 62 (4):733-769.

View all 19 citations / Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Two Issues in Computer Ethics for Non-Programmers.Mark E. Wunderlich - 2010 - International Journal of Applied Philosophy 24 (2):255-264.
Deciding Arithmetic Using SAD Computers.Mark Hogarth - 2004 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 55 (4):681-691.
Computation as an Intrinsic Property.C. F. Boyle - 1994 - Minds and Machines 4 (4):451-67.
Computing Mechanisms.Gualtiero Piccinini - 2007 - Philosophy of Science 74 (4):501-526.

Analytics

Added to PP index
2009-01-28

Total downloads
187 ( #29,961 of 2,273,081 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
4 ( #110,165 of 2,273,081 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Monthly downloads

My notes

Sign in to use this feature