Beyond Formal Structure: A Mechanistic Perspective on Computation and Implementation

Year
2011
Volume 12
Issue 4
Pages
359-379
Authors
Marcin Miłkowski
Abstract
In this article, after presenting the basic idea of causal accounts of implementation and the problems they are supposed to solve, I sketch the model of computation preferred by Chalmers and argue that it is too limited to do full justice to computational theories in cognitive science. I also argue that it does not suffice to replace Chalmers’ favorite model with a better abstract model of computation; it is necessary to acknowledge the causal structure of physical computers that is not accommodated by the models used in computability theory. Additionally, an alternative mechanistic proposal is outlined.

Key words: computation, implementation, computational explanation, analog computing