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

Authors
Gualtiero Piccinini
University of Missouri, St. Louis
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.
Keywords Philosophy   Philosophy of Religion   Philosophy of Mind   Epistemology   Logic   Philosophy
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Reprint years 2004, 2008
DOI 10.1007/s11098-005-5385-4
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References found in this work BETA

The Language of Thought.Jerry A. Fodor - 1975 - Harvard University Press.
Vison.David Marr - 1982 - W. H. Freeman.

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Citations of this work BETA

Individuation Without Representation.Joe Dewhurst - 2018 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 69 (1):103-116.
A Theory of Practical Meaning.Carlotta Pavese - 2017 - Philosophical Topics 45 (2):65-96.
Computing Mechanisms.Gualtiero Piccinini - 2007 - Philosophy of Science 74 (4):501-526.
Computation, Individuation, and the Received View on Representation.Mark Sprevak - 2010 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 41 (3):260-270.

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