Philosophers' Imprint 18:1-17 (2018)

Authors
Chris Tucker
William & Mary
Abstract
Just as theory of representation is deficient if it can’t explain how misrepresentation is possible, a theory of computation is deficient if it can’t explain how miscomputation is possible. Nonetheless, philosophers have generally ignored miscomputation. My primary goal in this paper is to clarify both what miscomputation is and how to adequately explain it. Miscomputation is a special kind of malfunction: a system miscomputes when it computes in a way that it shouldn’t. To explain miscomputation, you must provide accounts of computational behavior, computational norms, and how computational behavior can deviate from computational norms. A secondary goal of this paper is to defend an (quasi-)individualist, mechanistic theory of miscomputation. Computational behavior is narrowly individuated. Computational norms are widely individuated. A system miscomputes when its behavior manifests a narrow computational structure that the widely individuated norms say that it should not have.
Keywords miscomputation  mechanistic theory of computation  computational individualism  Gualtiero Piccinini  teleological function
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References found in this work BETA

A Computational Foundation for the Study of Cognition.David Chalmers - 2011 - Journal of Cognitive Science 12 (4):323-357.
Individuation Without Representation.Joe Dewhurst - 2018 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 69 (1):103-116.
Computation in Physical Systems.Gualtiero Piccinini - 2010 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
Are There Teleological Functions to Compute?Dimitri Coelho Mollo - 2019 - Philosophy of Science 86 (3):431-452.
Computation and Content.Frances Egan - 1995 - Philosophical Review 104 (2):181-203.

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Citations of this work BETA

Computation in Physical Systems.Gualtiero Piccinini - 2010 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
Against Computational Perspectivalism.Dimitri Coelho Mollo - forthcoming - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science:axz036.
Long-Arm Functional Individuation of Computation.Nir Fresco - 2021 - Synthese 199 (5-6):13993-14016.

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A Mechanistic Account of Wide Computationalism.Luke Kersten - 2017 - Review of Philosophy and Psychology 8 (3):501-517.

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