Physical Computation: A Mechanistic Account

Book Description

Gualtiero Piccinini articulates and defends a mechanistic account of concrete, or physical, computation. A physical system is a system just in case it is a mechanism one of whose is to manipulate vehicles based solely on differences between different portions of the vehicles according to a rule defined over the vehicles. Physical Computation discusses previous accounts of computation and argues that the mechanistic account is better. Many kinds of computation are explicated, such as vs. analog, serial vs. , neural computation, program-controlled computation, and more. Piccinini argues that computation does not entail representation or processing although processing entails computation. Pancomputationalism, according to which every physical system is computational, is rejected. A modest version of the physical Church-Turing thesis, according to which any function that is physically computable is computable by Turing machines, is defended.

Book Details

  • Title: Physical Computation: A Mechanistic Account
  • Author:
  • Length: 280 pages
  • Edition: 1
  • Language: English
  • Publisher:
  • Publication Date: 2015-08-25
  • ISBN-10: 0199658854
  • ISBN-13: 9780199658855
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