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Are There Teleological Functions to Compute?

Coelho Mollo, Dimitri (2019) Are There Teleological Functions to Compute? [Preprint]

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Abstract

I analyse 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 systems are brought to bear, the tension dissolves: physical systems can have the teleological function to compute.


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Item Type: Preprint
Creators:
CreatorsEmailORCID
Coelho Mollo, Dimitridimitricmollo@gmail.com0000-0002-0464-3535
Additional Information: Published in Philosophy of Science (2019), vol.86(3)
Keywords: Computation; Mechanistic View of Computation; Mechanistic Explanation; Teleological Function; Cognitive Science
Subjects: Specific Sciences > Biology > Function/Teleology
Specific Sciences > Cognitive Science
Specific Sciences > Cognitive Science > Computation
Specific Sciences > Computation/Information
Specific Sciences > Computer Science
General Issues > Explanation
Depositing User: Dimitri Coelho Mollo
Date Deposited: 20 Aug 2019 13:54
Last Modified: 20 Aug 2019 13:54
Item ID: 16344
Official URL: https://www.journals.uchicago.edu/doi/10.1086/7035...
DOI or Unique Handle: https://doi.org/10.1086/703554
Subjects: Specific Sciences > Biology > Function/Teleology
Specific Sciences > Cognitive Science
Specific Sciences > Cognitive Science > Computation
Specific Sciences > Computation/Information
Specific Sciences > Computer Science
General Issues > Explanation
Date: July 2019
URI: https://philsci-archive-dev.library.pitt.edu/id/eprint/16344

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