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Pancomputationalist theories are a group of physical theories that try to describe the universe itself as a computer or an informational (processing) structure.

Informational (structural) realism is a group of theories that supports an ontological commitment to a world consisting of the totality of informational objects dynamically interacting with each other

It is proposed by philosopher Luciano Floridi

In one of his articles (http://philsci-archive.pitt.edu/4076/), he says:

"On the other hand, pancomputationalists like Lloyd [2006], who describes the universe not as a Turing Machine but as a quantum computer, can still hold an analogue or hybrid ontology. Laplace’s demon, for example, is an analogue pancomputationalist. And informational ontologists like Sayre [1976], or myself (Floridi [2004] and Floridi [forthcoming]) do not have to embrace either a digital ontology or a pancomputationalist position as described in Zuse Thesis"

My question is, are all pancomputationalist models compatible with this philosophy? Are 't Hooft's models compatible with this? Are Konrad Zuse's models compatible with it? Or maybe Paola Zizzi's or Jürgen Schmidhuber's models?

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Digital_physics

Because it is only said that pancomputationalist models are compatible with it, I thought that maybe only some pancomputationalist models were compatible with it. I'm also asking whether are there pancomputationalist models that take a physical/scientific/mathematical point of view/approach to this philosophy.

  • The question is a bit unclear. In this passage, Floridi argues that pancomputationalism is independent from a digital ontology. One can view the universe as a computer that works on either discrete or analogous entities (if quantum computers are considered at least). This argument is unrelated to informational realism because the latter is also independent from digital ontology: information is not necessarily discrete. It seems to me that informational realism is compatible with quite anything. Could you explain in more details what makes you think it wouldn't be? – Quentin Ruyant Jul 28 '18 at 11:13
  • @QuentinRuyant Because it is only said that pancomputationalist models are compatible with it, I thought that maybe only some pancomputationalist models were compatible with it. I'm also asking whether are there pancomputationalist models that take a physical/scientific/mathematical point of view/approach to this philosophy. – bautzeman Jul 28 '18 at 23:43
  • ok I see. My intuition would be that quite anything can be recast in terms of information/structure because the level at which informational/structural realism operate is very abstract (I've seen structural realists reinterpreting all kinds of ontology in their framework) but I don't know enough these pancomputationalist models to give you a precise answer. – Quentin Ruyant Jul 29 '18 at 7:27

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