Computation without representation

Philosophical Studies 137 (2):205-241 (2008)
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Abstract

The received view is that computational states are individuated at least in part by their semantic properties. I offer an alternative, according to which computational states are individuated by their functional properties. Functional properties are specified by a mechanistic explanation without appealing to any semantic properties. The primary purpose of this paper is to formulate the alternative view of computational individuation, point out that it supports a robust notion of computational explanation, and defend it on the grounds of how computational states are individuated within computability theory and computer science. A secondary purpose is to show that existing arguments for the semantic view are defective.

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2009-01-28

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Gualtiero Piccinini
University of Missouri, St. Louis

Citations of this work

Individuation without Representation.Joe Dewhurst - 2018 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 69 (1):103-116.
The language of thought hypothesis.Murat Aydede - 2010 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
Computing mechanisms.Gualtiero Piccinini - 2007 - Philosophy of Science 74 (4):501-526.

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