Computational theory is the study of calculations. Important questions are: what can be computed? How quickly can it be computed? What requirements or abilities must a computer have?

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Random Computer Generated Number [closed]

Isn't expecting a computer to generate a random number like expecting a computer to not be a computer? For the computer it is like creating a rule to not follow a rule. I feel EVERYTHING follows a ...
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164 views

If we live in a simulated world, doesn't there have to be a first world that's real?

There are people who believe we live in a world simulated on a computer. That computer must have been built in either another computer generated world or a real world. If it has been made in another ...
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212 views

Do qualia have an evolutionary purpose? (assuming they exist)

Do qualia have an evolutionary function, and if so what is it? Could qualia help us solve problems that Turing machines can't solve? Could qualia help us solve problems faster than normal computers? ...
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170 views

Entanglement and the computability of nature

(Note - I edited to the question in response to answers) In the 1935 EPR paper, Einstein, Podolsky and Rosen write that given two entangled particles, one particle can be used to predict with ...
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What are computable numbers, and what is their philosophical significance?

What are Computable Numbers? Is computability (or non-computability) some sort of technology-dependent characteristic of numbers (via e.g. Turing Machines)? What are the philosophical implications or ...
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Does running a program about quantum mechanics on a quantum computer count as an experiment or a simulation?

When it comes to the simulation vs. experiment debate, some proponents of simulations argue they have equal epistemic value because computer simulations are physical processes happening inside a ...
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How can the physical world be an abstract mathematical structure?

This is Tegmark's short formulation of the "mathematical universe" (paraphrased by detractors as "reality made of math"), and he goes out of his way to stress that he means the "is" literally:"Whereas ...
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2answers
127 views

Quantum Mechanics has formally undecidable problems. What is the philosophical significance of this?

A certain problem is quantum mechanics has been shown to be uncomputable. This means that although it is in a certain sense making a prediction, there is no systematic way to determine what prediction ...
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What are the philosophical consequences of the undecidability of the spectral gap in quantum theory?

An article published in Nature yesterday proves that finding the spectral gap of a material based on a complete quantum level description of the material is undecidable (in the Turing sense). One of ...
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Do limitations on computability and computational resources have any consequences for epistemology?

Do Turing undecidability and computational complexity considerations (NP-hardness, etc...) have consequences for epistemology? If X function or propostion is undecidable or requires an intractable ...
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228 views

In a Computational Theory of Mind, how do we identify what is being computed?

In a Computational Theory of Mind, how do we identify what is being computed and/or what algorithm is being executed? In general, a process can be viewed at different levels of abstraction. So, for ...
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What are the differences between mind model and other models?

What are the main differences between mind model and any other models such as conceptual models and ... ? As far as I know these are some major differences: 1-mind models are dynamic whereas ...
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What is the connection between temporal and epistemic knowledge?

Recently I read all kinds of work from logic scientists in which epistemic logic was the main topic. Where epistmic change refers to change in knowledge of some agent in a multi-agent system (in a non-...
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1answer
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What did John Searle mean by these self-contradictory statements?

In his 1980 article “Minds, Brains and Programs” John Searle wrote: ” Of course the brain is a digital computer. Since everything is a digital computer, brains are too. The point ...
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86 views

Patterns and Computation

Suppose we are going to start a celullar automata and we are expecting some patterns to emerge. My question : Do the patterns exist before the computation and they gain form or get instantiated in ...
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3answers
522 views

Input/output in 'mathematical' programming languages [closed]

More than once I have observed this: A person describes a functional programming language (as opposed to a programming language that makes heavy use of interspersed states), that person will say it is ...
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78 views

Might additional spacial dimensions provide higher processing efficiency in computing? [closed]

I've been contemplating the possibility of our universe and physics being a big computer simulation. But unlike the writer of this Oxford paper, I have in mind the simulation not being later humans or ...
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115 views

Infinity time divisibility: Can we observe it and would it disprove ideas of the universe being a simulation?

This question has a basis in what I would call theoretical and metaphysical computer science. Naturally, it would not be welcome on CS SE. Hopefully it fits here and there are those of you here ...
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Is autonomy or deduction the more primary component of intelligence?

I find myself again facing a gap in definitions with a given range of philosophical schools. So at the risk of "pushing agenda" or "simply requesting opinion" I would like to ask for other ways of ...
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Can computers be programmed to be 'creative'?

When a artist strokes their brush on a canvas and paints a beautiful work of art they may be referred as creative person. Or perhaps a musician or a writer. Does this creativeness come from the soul ...
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135 views

Not Turing reducible = non-physical?

According to the following question, it is likely the physical universe can be simulated on a Turing machine. Is the universe isomorphic to a universal turing machine? If so, does this imply ...
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3answers
345 views

Why can't an algorithm understand incompleteness?

I've heard a lot of people say that Gödel's proof shows that human intelligence somehow goes beyond what a computer could ever do. It's only ever been articulated to me very badly, though not for want ...
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6answers
706 views

Is thinking algorithmic?

I'm wondering about the fundamental differences between human thinking and computer thinking. Is it wise to consider all human thinking in terms of algorithms?
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Computational counter-argument for solipsism [closed]

First let me elaborate the argument. Take a calculator (wolframalpha, google or other software tools may serve as well). Perform some very complex operation. Write down the operation and the result ...
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4answers
366 views

Determinism and P=NP

This one has been busting my brain for quite a while now. As far as physics currently tells us, we live in a world where the physical laws are inductive but not deterministic, because at some ...
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1answer
552 views

In what way is the lambda calculus stronger than first-order logic?

This wikipedia article on combinatory logic says that Combinatory Logic, Lambda Logic and Turing Machines are equivalent computationally, but that both of these exceed the expressive power of first-...
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124 views

How does Lowenheim-Skolem theorem prove the relativity of mathematical models?

Stuart Shapiro mentioned in his book Thinking about Mathematics that Lowenheim-Skolem theorem showed the "relativity" of a model in mathematics. What does it actually mean? What does the phrase "to ...
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1answer
144 views

If the universe is a turing machine, must it be one without an oracle?

According to wikipedia, turing machines can be equipped with oracles that solve the halting problem; but then a new halting problem arises - whether machines equivalent to themselves ie with the ...
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563 views

What are the essential differences between Quantum & Classical Turing Machines?

The classical Turing machine comes in a variety of different flavours. The basic version is the one first outlined by Turing, the non-deterministic version allows finite branching at every computation ...
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469 views

Is the human mind equivalent in computational capacity to a Turing machine?

Is it possible to formally prove that the human mind is equivalent in computational capacity to a Turing machine? Some papers that were helpful to me in understanding this issue: Minds, Machines ...
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1answer
171 views

What are the philosophical implications of the fact that Rule 110 is universal?

I just read the Wikipedia article on Rule 110 and there was a short remark that the simplicity of that rule might imply that it can exist in physical systems in nature. "Physical systems may also be ...
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265 views

Succinct argument for the fundamental role of binary digits as information units

I will clear up the context of this question so that the potential answers can be effectively targeted towards what I'm looking for. Information (at least in the non-semantic, canonical sense of the ...
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8answers
878 views

Does Searle's Chinese Room model computers correctly?

Searle invented a thought experiment, the Chinese Room, which he proposes is an argument against Strong AI (that machines think) but not against Weak AI (that machines simulate thinking), he has a man ...
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247 views

Is reincarnation possible for a concious computer?

The physical substance of a computer can deteriorate and eventually stop functioning, but the immaterial program & its state can be transferred to another computer. Its conciousness is effectively ...
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How to understand numbers that become really large?

If we begin with a notion of number N that we denote F(N) as a function of time, can a decidable procedure exist on definability of the growth of numbers? Inspired by Tipler's Omega point and Thomson'...
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298 views

Would a conscious computer naturally hold a solipsistic philosophy?

We're biologically incapable of ignoring our senses. I want to clarify what I mean by this, because as posters have suggested we actually can do so, for example by blinding or gouging our eyes. I'm ...
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309 views

To be or not be—what would a conscious computer decide?

The Prometheus myth can be interpreted as consciousness being a burden. Camus used the myth of Sisyphus to debate the same issue. It is the theme of a famous speech from Hamlet. Heidegger talks of ...
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250 views

What are some good books about computational ethics?

Gert-Jan C. Lokhorst has written a paper on "computational metaethics" (Computational Meta-Ethics: Towards the Meta-Ethical Robot), which explores the ability of formal systems (i.e. computers/robots) ...
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1answer
199 views

Problem of induction without i.i.d

In this paper of Aaronson's, a proof is given of Occam's razor by appealing to PAC learning. My understanding of Valiant's bounds for PAC learners is that it requires i.i.d. This is often a ...
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1answer
184 views

What role does “counting histories” play in Deutsch's critique of the “simulation argument”?

In his book The Beginning of Infinity, David Deutsch argues that there is a problematic assumption behind the simulation argument that "virtually all instances of us are in ... simulations and not in ...
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What is the best scientific argumentation against the Dust Theory?

The "Dust Theory", by Greg Egan, states that... ... there is no difference, even in principle, between physics and mathematics, and that all mathematically possible structures exist, among ...
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Is the universe isomorphic to a universal turing machine?

I often think about problems that require an understanding of the very essence of computation and its inherent limitations. So, my questions are as followed: Is the universe isomorphic to a ...