When physical systems realize functions

Minds and Machines 9 (2):161-196 (1999)

Abstract

  After briefly discussing the relevance of the notions computation and implementation for cognitive science, I summarize some of the problems that have been found in their most common interpretations. In particular, I argue that standard notions of computation together with a state-to-state correspondence view of implementation cannot overcome difficulties posed by Putnam's Realization Theorem and that, therefore, a different approach to implementation is required. The notion realization of a function, developed out of physical theories, is then introduced as a replacement for the notional pair computation-implementation. After gradual refinement, taking practical constraints into account, this notion gives rise to the notion digital system which singles out physical systems that could be actually used, and possibly even built

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Matthias Scheutz
Tufts University

References found in this work

On Computable Numbers, with an Application to the Entscheidungsproblem.Alan Turing - 1936 - Proceedings of the London Mathematical Society 42 (1):230-265.
Psychological Predicates.Hilary Putnam - 1967 - In W. H. Capitan & D. D. Merrill (eds.), Art, Mind, and Religion. University of Pittsburgh Press. pp. 37--48.
The Dynamical Hypothesis in Cognitive Science.Tim van Gelder - 1998 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 21 (5):615-28.
A Computational Foundation for the Study of Cognition.David Chalmers - 2011 - Journal of Cognitive Science 12 (4):323-357.

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Citations of this work

Computation Without Representation.Gualtiero Piccinini - 2008 - Philosophical Studies 137 (2):205-241.
Computing Mechanisms.Gualtiero Piccinini - 2007 - Philosophy of Science 74 (4):501-526.
Computation in Physical Systems.Gualtiero Piccinini - 2010 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.

View all 37 citations / Add more citations

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