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Summary Computers are currently intended as general purpose, programmable devices that carry out algorithmic instructions by way of arithmetic and logical operations. The philosophical literature on computers include the varied spectrum of theoretical, scientific, and technological issues that computers induce. Under theoretical issues are of particular importance those related to computability theory (such as the Church-Turing thesis), complexity, the limits of the computable, the relations between the mind and computers. Under the scientific problems of philosophical relevance are those related to computer-based mathematics, computer-generated arts, the explanation of computational events, pedagogy and human-computer interaction. Under the technological aspects of philosophical importance fall the design and correctness of programs, the nature of simulations, the representation and implementation of data and the nature and semantics of programming languages. 
Key works The philosophical relevance of computers is currently investigated in the large body of work that falls under the Philosophy of Computer Science, see Turner 2013
Introductions See Piccinini 2008 for an explication of the notion of computer according to the mechanistic account of computing mechanisms. For other issues see Turner 2013.
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59 found
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  1. On Turing Completeness, or Why We Are So Many.Ramón Casares - manuscript
    Why are we so many? Or, in other words, Why is our species so successful? The ultimate cause of our success as species is that we, Homo sapiens, are the first and the only Turing complete species. Turing completeness is the capacity of some hardware to compute by software whatever hardware can compute. -/- To reach the answer, I propose to see evolution and computing from the problem solving point of view. Then, solving more problems is evolutionarily better, computing is (...)
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  2. Can Artificail Entities Assert?Ori Freiman & Boaz Miller - forthcoming - In Sanford C. Goldberg (ed.), The Oxford Handbook of Assertion. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.
    There is an existing debate regarding the view that technological instruments, devices, or machines can assert ‎or testify. A standard view in epistemology is that only humans can testify. However, the notion of quasi-‎testimony acknowledges that technological devices can assert or testify under some conditions, without ‎denying that humans and machines are not the same. Indeed, there are four relevant differences between ‎humans and instruments. First, unlike humans, machine assertion is not imaginative or playful. Second, ‎machine assertion is prescripted and (...)
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  3. Epistemic Issues in Computational Reproducibility: Software as the Elephant in the Room.Alexandre Hocquet & Frédéric Wieber - 2021 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 11 (2):1-20.
    Computational reproducibility possesses its own dynamics and narratives of crisis. Alongside the difficulties of computing as an ubiquitous yet complex scientific activity, computational reproducibility suffers from a naive expectancy of total reproducibility and a moral imperative to embrace the principles of free software as a non-negotiable epistemic virtue. We argue that the epistemic issues at stake in actual practices of computational reproducibility are best unveiled by focusing on software as a pivotal concept, one that is surprisingly often overlooked in accounts (...)
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  4. Individual Homogenization in Large-Scale Systems: On the Politics of Computer and Social Architectures.Jens Bürger & Andres Laguna-Tapia - 2020 - Palgrave Communications 6 (47).
    One determining characteristic of contemporary sociopolitical systems is their power over increasingly large and diverse populations. This raises questions about power relations between heterogeneous individuals and increasingly dominant and homogenizing system objectives. This article crosses epistemic boundaries by integrating computer engineering and a historicalphilosophical approach making the general organization of individuals within large-scale systems and corresponding individual homogenization intelligible. From a versatile archeological-genealogical perspective, an analysis of computer and social architectures is conducted that reinterprets Foucault’s disciplines and political anatomy to (...)
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  5. Unrealistic Models for Realistic Computations: How Idealisations Help Represent Mathematical Structures and Found Scientific Computing.Philippos Papayannopoulos - 2020 - Synthese 199 (1-2):249-283.
    We examine two very different approaches to formalising real computation, commonly referred to as “Computable Analysis” and “the BSS approach”. The main models of computation underlying these approaches—bit computation and BSS, respectively—have also been put forward as appropriate foundations for scientific computing. The two frameworks offer useful computability and complexity results about problems whose underlying domain is an uncountable space. Since typically the problems dealt with in physical sciences, applied mathematics, economics, and engineering are also defined in uncountable domains, it (...)
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  6. Are There Teleological Functions to Compute?Dimitri Coelho Mollo - 2019 - Philosophy of Science 86 (3):431-452.
    I analyze a tension at the core of the mechanistic view of computation generated by its joint commitment to the medium independence of computational vehicles and to computational systems possessing teleological functions to compute. While computation is individuated in medium-independent terms, teleology is sensitive to the constitutive physical properties of vehicles. This tension spells trouble for the mechanistic view, suggesting that there can be no teleological functions to compute. I argue that, once considerations about the relevant function-bestowing factors for computational (...)
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  7. A Simplicity Criterion for Physical Computation.Tyler Millhouse - 2019 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 70 (1):153-178.
    The aim of this paper is to offer a formal criterion for physical computation that allows us to objectively distinguish between competing computational interpretations of a physical system. The criterion construes a computational interpretation as an ordered pair of functions mapping (1) states of a physical system to states of an abstract machine, and (2) inputs to this machine to interventions in this physical system. This interpretation must ensure that counterfactuals true of the abstract machine have appropriate counterparts which are (...)
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  8. On the Foundations of Computing.Giuseppe Primiero - 2019 - Oxford University Press.
    Computing, today more than ever before, is a multi-faceted discipline which collates several methodologies, areas of interest, and approaches: mathematics, engineering, programming, and applications. Given its enormous impact on everyday life, it is essential that its debated origins are understood, and that its different foundations are explained. On the Foundations of Computing offers a comprehensive and critical overview of the birth and evolution of computing, and it presents some of the most important technical results and philosophical problems of the discipline, (...)
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  9. Ciencia de la computación y filosofía: unidades de análisis del software.Juan Manuel Durán - 2018 - Principia 22 (2):203-227.
    Una imagen muy generalizada a la hora de entender el software de computador es la que lo representa como una “caja negra”: no importa realmente saber qué partes lo componen internamente, sino qué resultados se obtienen de él según ciertos valores de entrada. Al hacer esto, muchos problemas filosóficos son ocultados, negados o simplemente mal entendidos. Este artículo discute tres unidades de análisis del software de computador, esto es, las especificaciones, los algoritmos y los procesos computacionales. El objetivo central es (...)
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  10. Simple or Complex Bodies? Trade-Offs in Exploiting Body Morphology for Control.Matej Hoffmann & Vincent C. Müller - 2017 - In Gordana Dodig-Crnkovic & Raffaela Giovagnoli (eds.), Representation of Reality: Humans, Other Living Organisms and Intelligent Machines. Berlin: Springer. pp. 335-345.
    Engineers fine-tune the design of robot bodies for control purposes, however, a methodology or set of tools is largely absent, and optimization of morphology (shape, material properties of robot bodies, etc.) is lagging behind the development of controllers. This has become even more prominent with the advent of compliant, deformable or ”soft” bodies. These carry substantial potential regarding their exploitation for control—sometimes referred to as ”morphological computation”. In this article, we briefly review different notions of computation by physical systems and (...)
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  11. What is Morphological Computation? On How the Body Contributes to Cognition and Control.Vincent C. Müller & Matej Hoffmann - 2017 - Artificial Life 23 (1):1-24.
    The contribution of the body to cognition and control in natural and artificial agents is increasingly described as “off-loading computation from the brain to the body”, where the body is said to perform “morphological computation”. Our investigation of four characteristic cases of morphological computation in animals and robots shows that the ‘off-loading’ perspective is misleading. Actually, the contribution of body morphology to cognition and control is rarely computational, in any useful sense of the word. We thus distinguish (1) morphology that (...)
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  12. Physical Computation: A Mechanistic Account. [REVIEW]Joe Dewhurst - 2016 - Philosophical Psychology 29 (5):795-797.
    Physical Computation is the summation of Piccinini’s work on computation and mechanistic explanation over the past decade. It draws together material from papers published during that time, but also provides additional clarifications and restructuring that make this the definitive presentation of his mechanistic account of physical computation. This review will first give a brief summary of the account that Piccinini defends, followed by a chapter-by-chapter overview of the book, before finally discussing one aspect of the account in more critical detail.
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  13. A Universal Socio-Technical Computing Machine.Markus Luczak-Roesch, Ramine Tinati, Saud Aljaloud, Wendy Hall & Nigel Shadbolt - 2016 - In International Conference on Web Engineering.
    This is an attempt to develop a universal socio-technical computing machine that captures and coordinates human input to let collective problem solving activities emerge on the Web without the need for an a priori composition of a dedicated task or human collective.
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  14. Computing and Philosophy: Selected Papers From IACAP 2014.Vincent C. Müller (ed.) - 2016 - Springer.
    This volume offers very selected papers from the 2014 conference of the “International Association for Computing and Philosophy” (IACAP) - a conference tradition of 28 years. - - - Table of Contents - 0 Vincent C. Müller: - Editorial - 1) Philosophy of computing - 1 Çem Bozsahin: - What is a computational constraint? - 2 Joe Dewhurst: - Computing Mechanisms and Autopoietic Systems - 3 Vincenzo Fano, Pierluigi Graziani, Roberto Macrelli and Gino Tarozzi: - Are Gandy Machines really local? (...)
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  15. Layers of Models in Computer Simulations.Thomas Boyer-Kassem - 2014 - International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 28 (4):417-436.
    I discuss here the definition of computer simulations, and more specifically the views of Humphreys, who considers that an object is simulated when a computer provides a solution to a computational model, which in turn represents the object of interest. I argue that Humphreys's concepts are not able to analyse fully successfully a case of contemporary simulation in physics, which is more complex than the examples considered so far in the philosophical literature. I therefore modify Humphreys's definition of simulation. I (...)
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  16. Opinions and Outlooks on Morphological Computation.Helmut Hauser, Rudolf M. Füchslin & Rolf Pfeifer (eds.) - 2014 - E-Book.
    Morphological Computation is based on the observation that biological systems seem to carry out relevant computations with their morphology (physical body) in order to successfully interact with their environments. This can be observed in a whole range of systems and at many different scales. It has been studied in animals – e.g., while running, the functionality of coping with impact and slight unevenness in the ground is "delivered" by the shape of the legs and the damped elasticity of the muscle-tendon (...)
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  17. Computational Mechanisms and Models of Computation.Marcin Miłkowski - 2014 - Philosophia Scientae 18:215-228.
    In most accounts of realization of computational processes by physical mechanisms, it is presupposed that there is one-to-one correspondence between the causally active states of the physical process and the states of the computation. Yet such proposals either stipulate that only one model of computation is implemented, or they do not reflect upon the variety of models that could be implemented physically. In this paper, I claim that mechanistic accounts of computation should allow for a broad variation of models of (...)
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  18. Your Digital Afterlives: Computational Theories of Life After Death.Eric Steinhart - 2014 - Palgrave.
    Our digital technologies have inspired new ways of thinking about old religious topics. Digitalists include computer scientists, transhumanists, singularitarians, and futurists. Digitalists have worked out novel and entirely naturalistic ways of thinking about bodies, minds, souls, universes, gods, and life after death. Your Digital Afterlives starts with three digitalist theories of life after death. It examines personality capture, body uploading, and promotion to higher levels of simulation. It then examines the idea that reality itself is ultimately a system of self-surpassing (...)
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  19. Imaginary Computational Systems: Queer Technologies and Transreal Aesthetics. [REVIEW]Zach Blas & Micha Cárdenas - 2013 - AI and Society 28 (4):559-566.
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  20. Information Processing as an Account of Concrete Digital Computation.Nir Fresco - 2013 - Philosophy and Technology 26 (1):31-60.
    It is common in cognitive science to equate computation (and in particular digital computation) with information processing. Yet, it is hard to find a comprehensive explicit account of concrete digital computation in information processing terms. An information processing account seems like a natural candidate to explain digital computation. But when ‘information’ comes under scrutiny, this account becomes a less obvious candidate. Four interpretations of information are examined here as the basis for an information processing account of digital computation, namely Shannon (...)
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  21. Eric Winsberg: Science in the Age of Computer Simulation: The University of Chicago Press, Chicago, IL, 2010, 168 Pp., $ 24.00 , ISBN: 978-0-226-90204-3. [REVIEW]Stefan Gruner - 2013 - Minds and Machines 23 (2):251-254.
  22. Justified Belief in a Digital Age: On the Epistemic Implications of Secret Internet Technologies.Boaz Miller & Isaac Record - 2013 - Episteme 10 (2):117 - 134.
    People increasingly form beliefs based on information gained from automatically filtered Internet ‎sources such as search engines. However, the workings of such sources are often opaque, preventing ‎subjects from knowing whether the information provided is biased or incomplete. Users’ reliance on ‎Internet technologies whose modes of operation are concealed from them raises serious concerns about ‎the justificatory status of the beliefs they end up forming. Yet it is unclear how to address these concerns ‎within standard theories of knowledge and justification. (...)
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  23. Realismo científico, computacionalismo y la máxima pragmática.Ricardo Restrepo - 2013 - In Douglas Anderson, Ricardo Restrepo, Victor Hugo Chica & Diana Patricia Carmona (eds.), El pragmatismo norteamericano. IAEN.
    Se identifica el argumento de que la teoría de que hay propiedades computacionales suficientes para propiedades mentales es una teoría o falsa o vacía, ya que las propiedades computacionales no son empíricamente descubriles, intrínsecas ni causales, como sí lo son las propiedades mentales. Es un argumento que se puede destilar de los problemas que John Searle imputa a la ciencia cognitiva computacional, pero encuentra su correlato antecedente en el argumento que Max Newman utilizó para refutar el estructuralismo físico de Bertrand (...)
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  24. On the Plurality of Gods.Eric Steinhart - 2013 - Religious Studies 49 (3):289-312.
    Ordinal polytheism is motivated by the cosmological and design arguments. It is also motivated by Leibnizian–Lewisian modal realism. Just as there are many universes, so there are many gods. Gods are necessary concrete grounds of universes. The god-universe relation is one-to-one. Ordinal polytheism argues for a hierarchy of ranks of ever more perfect gods, one rank for every ordinal number. Since there are no maximally perfect gods, ordinal polytheism avoids many of the familiar problems of monotheism. It links theology with (...)
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  25. The Philosophy of Computer Science.Raymond Turner - 2013 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
  26. Chains of Reference in Computer Simulations.Franck Varenne - 2013 - FMSH Working Papers 51:1-32.
    This paper proposes an extensionalist analysis of computer simulations (CSs). It puts the emphasis not on languages nor on models, but on symbols, on their extensions, and on their various ways of referring. It shows that chains of reference of symbols in CSs are multiple and of different kinds. As they are distinct and diverse, these chains enable different kinds of remoteness of reference and different kinds of validation for CSs. Although some methodological papers have already underlined the role of (...)
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  27. The Construction of Personal Identities Online.Luciano Floridi - 2011 - Minds and Machines 21 (4):477-479.
    Information and communication technologies (ICTs) are building a new habitat (infosphere) in which future generations, living in advanced information societies, will spend an increasing amount of time. This paper introduces a series of articles that explore what constitutes a personal identity online (PIO) and how, as well as to what extent, individuals can learn to create, manage and perceive their PIOs in order to facilitate a healthy and rewarding online experience (onlife).
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  28. Computation in Physical Systems.Gualtiero Piccinini - 2010 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
  29. Brain and Mind Operational Architectonics and Man-Made “Machine” Consciousness.Andrew A. Fingelkurts, Alexander A. Fingelkurts & Carlos F. H. Neves - 2009 - Cognitive Processing 10 (2):105-111.
    To build a true conscious robot requires that a robot’s “brain” be capable of supporting the phenomenal consciousness as human’s brain enjoys. Operational Architectonics framework through exploration of the temporal structure of information flow and inter-area interactions within the network of functional neuronal populations [by examining topographic sharp transition processes in the scalp electroencephalogram (EEG) on the millisecond scale] reveals and describes the EEG architecture which is analogous to the architecture of the phenomenal world. This suggests that the task of (...)
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  30. An Analysis of the Criteria for Evaluating Adequate Theories of Computation.Nir Fresco - 2008 - Minds and Machines 18 (3):379-401.
    This paper deals with the question: What are the criteria that an adequate theory of computation has to meet? 1. Smith's answer: it has to meet the empirical criterion (i.e. doing justice to computational practice), the conceptual criterion (i.e. explaining all the underlying concepts) and the cognitive criterion (i.e. providing solid grounds for computationalism). 2. Piccinini's answer: it has to meet the objectivity criterion (i.e. identifying computation as a matter of fact), the explanation criterion (i.e. explaining the computer's behaviour), the (...)
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  31. An ATP of a Relational Proof System for Order of Magnitude Reasoning with Negligibility, Non-Closeness and Distance.Joanna Golinska-Pilarek, Angel Mora & Emilio Munoz Velasco - 2008 - In Tu-Bao Ho & Zhi-Hua Zhou (eds.), PRICAI 2008: Trends in Artificial Intelligence. Springer. pp. 128--139.
    We introduce an Automatic Theorem Prover (ATP) of a dual tableau system for a relational logic for order of magnitude qualitative reasoning, which allows us to deal with relations such as negligibility, non-closeness and distance. Dual tableau systems are validity checkers that can serve as a tool for verification of a variety of tasks in order of magnitude reasoning, such as the use of qualitative sum of some classes of numbers. In the design of our ATP, we have introduced some (...)
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  32. Some Neural Networks Compute, Others Don't.Gualtiero Piccinini - 2008 - Neural Networks 21 (2-3):311-321.
    I address whether neural networks perform computations in the sense of computability theory and computer science. I explicate and defend
    the following theses. (1) Many neural networks compute—they perform computations. (2) Some neural networks compute in a classical way.
    Ordinary digital computers, which are very large networks of logic gates, belong in this class of neural networks. (3) Other neural networks
    compute in a non-classical way. (4) Yet other neural networks do not perform computations. Brains may well fall into this last class.
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  33. Computers.Gualtiero Piccinini - 2008 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 89 (1):32–73.
    I offer an explication of the notion of computer, grounded in the practices of computability theorists and computer scientists. I begin by explaining what distinguishes computers from calculators. Then, I offer a systematic taxonomy of kinds of computer, including hard-wired versus programmable, general-purpose versus special-purpose, analog versus digital, and serial versus parallel, giving explicit criteria for each kind. My account is mechanistic: which class a system belongs in, and which functions are computable by which system, depends on the system's mechanistic (...)
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  34. Physical Computation: How General Are Gandy’s Principles for Mechanisms?B. Jack Copeland & Oron Shagrir - 2007 - Minds and Machines 17 (2):217-231.
    What are the limits of physical computation? In his ‘Church’s Thesis and Principles for Mechanisms’, Turing’s student Robin Gandy proved that any machine satisfying four idealised physical ‘principles’ is equivalent to some Turing machine. Gandy’s four principles in effect define a class of computing machines (‘Gandy machines’). Our question is: What is the relationship of this class to the class of all (ideal) physical computing machines? Gandy himself suggests that the relationship is identity. We do not share this view. We (...)
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  35. Three Paradigms of Computer Science.Amnon H. Eden - 2007 - Minds and Machines 17 (2):135-167.
    We examine the philosophical disputes among computer scientists concerning methodological, ontological, and epistemological questions: Is computer science a branch of mathematics, an engineering discipline, or a natural science? Should knowledge about the behaviour of programs proceed deductively or empirically? Are computer programs on a par with mathematical objects, with mere data, or with mental processes? We conclude that distinct positions taken in regard to these questions emanate from distinct sets of received beliefs or paradigms within the discipline: – The rationalist (...)
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  36. Universal Intelligence: A Definition of Machine Intelligence.Shane Legg & Marcus Hutter - 2007 - Minds and Machines 17 (4):391-444.
    A fundamental problem in artificial intelligence is that nobody really knows what intelligence is. The problem is especially acute when we need to consider artificial systems which are significantly different to humans. In this paper we approach this problem in the following way: we take a number of well known informal definitions of human intelligence that have been given by experts, and extract their essential features. These are then mathematically formalised to produce a general measure of intelligence for arbitrary machines. (...)
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  37. Computing Mechanisms.Gualtiero Piccinini - 2007 - Philosophy of Science 74 (4):501-526.
    This paper offers an account of what it is for a physical system to be a computing mechanism—a system that performs computations. A computing mechanism is a mechanism whose function is to generate output strings from input strings and (possibly) internal states, in accordance with a general rule that applies to all relevant strings and depends on the input strings and (possibly) internal states for its application. This account is motivated by reasons endogenous to the philosophy of computing, namely, doing (...)
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  38. Infinitely Complex Machines.Eric Steinhart - 2007 - In Intelligent Computing Everywhere. Springer. pp. 25-43.
    Infinite machines (IMs) can do supertasks. A supertask is an infinite series of operations done in some finite time. Whether or not our universe contains any IMs, they are worthy of study as upper bounds on finite machines. We introduce IMs and describe some of their physical and psychological aspects. An accelerating Turing machine (an ATM) is a Turing machine that performs every next operation twice as fast. It can carry out infinitely many operations in finite time. Many ATMs can (...)
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  39. Making Meaning Happen.Patrick Grim - 2004 - Journal for Experimental and Theoretical Artificial Intelligence 16:209-244.
    What is it for a sound or gesture to have a meaning, and how does it come to have one? In this paper, a range of simulations are used to extend the tradition of theories of meaning as use. The authors work throughout with large spatialized arrays of sessile individuals in an environment of wandering food sources and predators. Individuals gain points by feeding and lose points when they are hit by a predator and are not hiding. They can also (...)
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  40. Extending Ourselves: Computational Science, Empiricism, and Scientific Method.Paul Humphreys - 2004 - Oxford University Press.
    Computational methods have become the dominant technique in many areas of science. This book contains the first systematic philosophical account of these new methods and their consequences for scientific method. This book will be of interest to philosophers of science and to anyone interested in the role played by computers in modern science.
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  41. A History of Modern Computing.Paul E. Ceruzzi - 2003 - MIT Press.
    Ceruzzi pens a history of computing from the development of the first electronic digital computer to the Web and dot-com crash.
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  42. Supermachines and Superminds.Eric Steinhart - 2003 - Minds and Machines 13 (1):155-186.
    If the computational theory of mind is right, then minds are realized by machines. There is an ordered complexity hierarchy of machines. Some finite machines realize finitely complex minds; some Turing machines realize potentially infinitely complex minds. There are many logically possible machines whose powers exceed the Church–Turing limit (e.g. accelerating Turing machines). Some of these supermachines realize superminds. Superminds perform cognitive supertasks. Their thoughts are formed in infinitary languages. They perceive and manipulate the infinite detail of fractal objects. They (...)
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  43. The First Computers: History and Architectures. [REVIEW]Janet Abbate - 2002 - Isis 93:341-341.
    How much should we know about the underlying structure of a technological artifact in order to understand its history? Quite a bit, according to the authors of The First Computers: History and Architectures. This book, a collection of papers presented at the International Conference on the History of Computing in 1998, is aimed at computer scientists and programmers as well as historians of science and technology. The term “architecture” is used in computing to refer to the structure and capabilities of (...)
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  44. On Effective Procedures.Carol E. Cleland - 2002 - Minds and Machines 12 (2):159-179.
    Since the mid-twentieth century, the concept of the Turing machine has dominated thought about effective procedures. This paper presents an alternative to Turing's analysis; it unifies, refines, and extends my earlier work on this topic. I show that Turing machines cannot live up to their billing as paragons of effective procedure; at best, they may be said to provide us with mere procedure schemas. I argue that the concept of an effective procedure crucially depends upon distinguishing procedures as definite courses (...)
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  45. Accelerating Turing Machines.B. Jack Copeland - 2002 - Minds and Machines 12 (2):281-300.
    Accelerating Turing machines are Turing machines of a sort able to perform tasks that are commonly regarded as impossible for Turing machines. For example, they can determine whether or not the decimal representation of contains n consecutive 7s, for any n; solve the Turing-machine halting problem; and decide the predicate calculus. Are accelerating Turing machines, then, logically impossible devices? I argue that they are not. There are implications concerning the nature of effective procedures and the theoretical limits of computability. Contrary (...)
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  46. Hypercomputation.B. Jack Copeland - 2002 - Minds and Machines 12 (4):461-502.
  47. Der Computer Als Werkzeug Und Medium: Die Geistigen Und Technischen Wurzeln des Personalcomputers. [REVIEW]Thomas Hapke - 2002 - Isis 93:352-353.
    In the age of the Internet the computer has become an easy‐to‐use tool and medium for anybody who wants to do word processing, use spreadsheets, communicate, get information from the net, or simply play. Common use of files and cooperative use of connected machines make the computer and the net a digital medium. In this published version of a doctoral thesis written at the University of Technology in Aix‐la‐Chapelle, Michael Friedewald describes the intellectual and technical roots of the personal computer (...)
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  48. What is Computer Science About?Oron Shagrir - 1999 - The Monist 82 (1):131-149.
    What is computer-science about? CS is obviously the science of computers. But what exactly are computers? We know that there are physical computers, and, perhaps, also abstract computers. Let us limit the discussion here to physical entities and ask: What are physical computers? What does it mean for a physical entity to be a computer? The answer, it seems, is that physical computers are physical dynamical systems that implement formal entities such as Turing-machines. I do not think that this answer (...)
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  49. Computer: A History of the Information Machine. [REVIEW]Jon Agar - 1998 - British Journal for the History of Science 31 (3):361-375.
  50. Virtual Machines, Virtual Infrastructures: The New Historiography of Information Technology.Paul Edwards - 1998 - Isis 89:93-99.
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