Questions tagged [computation]

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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Dialethic machines and incompatibilist free will

Preamble: although I believe in the LNC for Aristotelian/Quinean reasons and the argument from explosions to boot, and am not altogether adept at modal logic in general, much less counterpossible ...
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Consciousness and computation

What are the links that are proposed between consciousness and computation? I.e. what are the theories of how computation creates consciousness?
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Didn’t Turing simply expand the space of algorithmic problems?

Code breaking brings the realization that, for the other side to generate their code (used my multiple people, not a private language), there must be an “algorithm”. Jacquard machines, analog Pong, ...
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Scrutiny on the definition of the Turing Machine?

Wiki states: A Turing machine is a mathematical model of computation describing an abstract machine that manipulates symbols on a strip of tape according to a table of rules. Has this intuitive ...
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Is there a standard name for this algorithm?

Computers are general purpose machines that can be programmed. Thus, computers can run any algorithm along with the given input. However, this means that computers must have built-in an algorithm for ...
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Why are there no Computer Algebra Systems designed to import known mathematical identities/theorems?

Computer Algebra Systems (CAS) are philosophically interesting in that they are an aspect of the long history of treating mind as mechanism. In this respect, mathematics may be thought of as ...
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Does Gödel’s findings boil down to part of classical mathematics (as opposed to computation) is flawed?

According to artificial intelligence researcher Joscha Bach, only classical mathematics is affected by Gödel’s incompleteness theorem however not computation where calculations are performed in a step-...
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Is anything wrong with this argument about the Turing test?

I seem to be having a bit of difficulty explaining what seems to me to be an important failure of the Turing test as performed. A failure that means that to date, no performance has yielded any ...
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Is there an alternative to infinity?

We can say that a discrete set with 1 and 2 allows us to count just from 1 to 2 but a sequential set with 1 and 2 allows us to count from 1 to 2 in an infinite way (1.1, 1.2, 1.3 ...) but no man can ...
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A question about the Turing test

Alan Turing bases his famous test for human-like machine intelligence on a party game between a man and a woman. Each communicates with a hidden judge by teleprinter (text alone). Nowadays, consoles ...
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Does Tarski Indefinability theorem impose a computational lower bound on the axiomatization of the reality?

Based on the Tarski's Indefinability Theorem (TA in standard model is not arithmetic (no FOL formula can represent TA, a formula represent a predicate relation definition: under Tarski's first order ...
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Correct wording for analysis? What is the nature of this relation?

I'm trying to analyse the statement "The computer has the capacity to perform long division", but I can't decide whether to use the connector because or therefore. Which one is more fitting ...
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Are there thoughts that cannot be put into words?

This question came to me thinking about the notion of computation. I was thinking whether we can extend the notion of tape symbol from something that can be printed on a block of space, to something ...
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What is the philosophical basis of the relation among reasoning, formal logic, and Turing machines? [closed]

Turing's machine is a generalisation of the concept of 'computation'. 'Formal logic' seems to be some sort of form of 'computation'. How are reasoning, computation, and formal logic related? Are forms ...
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Can the brain be considered an analog computer?

Some people consider the brain a computer. Like brain philosopher D. Hofstadter. In a public talk he gave he tried to do anything to show that. Including tackling opponents. But he couldn't convince (...
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Is a physical process identical to an algorithm computing it?

I have read three questions about algorithms and their relation to the human brain. Two recent ones: Question on Godel's Remark on Algorithmic Nature of Mind and: Why doesn't Searle's ...
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What are the mathematical concepts a computer implements?

I am well aware of theoretical work on the topic of algorithms, pioneered by Turing and Churchill as far as I know. Computers implement a large, but finite, set of algorithms. My question goes into a ...
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Some doubts on Incompleteness Theorems

An important point to note about first incompleteness theorem is that while a certain formula is "true" but unprovable, it is "true" on the basis of my understanding (intended ...
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Book or source recommendations on philosophy and the web

I am looking for a philosophical take on the Internet and so far find surprisingly little of what I was hoping for. While I am also interested in information theory, digital culture, social critique, ...
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Is human emotion or intelligence programmable?

Human beings can think, feel, sense and act. Computers, in a way, simulate the brain, while robots simulate their actions. But will it ever be possible that the combination of computer and robot can ...
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Is there a way to indicate NP^{\prod_i^P} or coNP^{\prod_i^P} like in polynomial hierarchy?

In know that in polynomial hierarchy I was wondering if there exists a way (and if it does make sense) to indicate or .
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Is there a weaker/general version of Incompleteness Theorem which holds for every formal axiomatic system?

Is there a general version of Godel's Incompleteness Theorem which holds for any formal axiomatic system (and not just those capable of modelling basic arithmetic)? If no, is it absurd to ask why such ...
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Do constructivists (or intuitionists) reject real numbers, except the computable ones?

SEP has a bunch of pages on what (various flavors) of intuitionists or constructivists seem to accept as a model theory or as a set theory (they actually seem to diverge on the latter, in the sense of ...
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Is it there a "completely expressive" formal system / logic language?

I wonder whether it exists a formal system such that all (or a considerable number of) the others can be considered as a subsets or fragments of it. I would say that, for instance, First-Order logic ...
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Is the distinction between software and hardware real?

In computer science education, there exists a dichotomy between what we call "hardware" and what we call "software". Software can exist as patterns on hardware and also as a purely ...
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What are the different kinds of computation that exist?

What are the different kinds of computation that exist? From what I can see, there are two kinds: Computation based on non-electric and analog devices: abacuses, human brain, calculator Computation ...
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Testing Free Will

Could we ever come up with an experiment that is able to explain once and for all if free will exists or not? Another way to put it: given a universe and agents acting within it, is it possible for ...
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Robinson Arithmetic and Church-Turing Thesis

What is the connection (if any) between proving the undecidability of Robinson Arithmetic and the Church-Turing Thesis? If there is any connection to CTT, is it necessary?
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Can we define the notion of an "omnipotent God" in terms of computational power?

A classic omnipotence paradox asks, "can an omnipotent God create a stone so heavy that He cannot lift it?" The problem here is that we take omnipotence to mean "capable of anything ...
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Philosophical meaning of the Curry Howard Correspondence

At a technical level, I understand the Curry-Howard correspondence in various settings, and its usefulness as a technical tool. What I'm looking for is a fairly rigorous discussion of genuinely ...
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Paradoxes regarding Identity of consciousness, illusion of present time

Thought experiment: Lets say we have two (or more) exactly same brains, in the same state, having exactly the same neural activity (hardly possible in reality with biological brains, but eventually ...
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Computing Premises from Consequence

We write 'If A, then B' to mean that if A is true, then B must be true because B is a logical consequence of A i.e. it is impossible for A to be true but B to be false. Let us consider one such ...
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Consciousness in Simulation theory & AI, why do some believe that it is even possible?

There are many famous philosophers that assume that "consciousness can be create by calculations in a computer". For example: Nick Bostrom with the simulation theory [I greatly respect and ...
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Where does computations occur, in Mind or in Matter?

Short and silly question, but it opens-up to a separation of idealism and materialism on the basis of information. If computations (in the scenario of a materialistic-computational perspective of the ...
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Why is Turing claiming that a complete and computable axiomatization of arithmetic would imply the decidability of first-order logic?

So I'm reading the famous paper of Turing "On Computable Numbers, with an Application to the Entscheidungsproblem". At the beginning of his proof of the undecidability of first-order logic (FOL), he ...
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Symbolic Processes & Thinking

My question is if there is some concrete symbolic logic at the foundation of human reasoning -something very rudimentary, but still formal? Question may be seen in context of the article given below. ...
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How do Probably Approximately Correct algorithms work, and is the PAC model an eludication of Piercean abduction

I recently read a fascinating review (in issue no. 136 of Philosophy Now) of Probably Approximately Correct written by Harvard Professor of Applied Mathematics and Computer Science, Leslie Valiant. ...
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Human Mind vs Computer

We start from axioms, use rules of logic, and derive theorems. These theorems establish what is the case in relation to the context. In all disciplines employing mathematics, we reason by saying '...
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In what contexts or disciplines does "One may assume X" imply "One may ignore the possibility of any statement contrary to X being true"?

In computer programming, it has become fashionable for compilers (processors of computer language) to apply the following form of reasoning: A language standard would permit a compiler to assume that ...
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Where can I find arguments for animal rights?

I'm asking this question on behalf of https://philosophy.stackexchange.com/users/47/curi I'm a philosopher (and programmer) attempting to research and diagram arguments relating to animal rights. I'm ...
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Is there a form of set theory involving imperatives and interrogatives?

I finally read the article Is there a Logic of Imperatives? Conifold showed me and it elicited the question, for me, whether imperative programming is a form of imperative logic at all? The essay took ...
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Is there a system where it is impossible to tell the fundamental type of probability?

Premise: What does it mean to take Planck's constant to 0? When someone takes Planck's constant to 0 then they do not effective just substitute Planck's constant with 0. The actual procedure is to ...
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What are some views on the ability to transfer consciousness into a machine?

What are some views on the ability to transfer consciousness into a machine? So when discussing this question, there are two set of questions that arises. What is consciousness, is it something that ...
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Are Max Tegmark's Mathematical Universe Hypothesis and Seth Lloyd's Cosmological Model compatible?

I have been interested in Seth Lloyd's cosmological model (which proposes that the universe is a some kind of quantum computer or at least similar to it: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/...
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Who first studied "logical (ir)reversibility"?

Who first studied "logical (ir)reversibility" philosophically? By "logical (ir)reversibility" I mean questions like:Why is it easier to multiply large numbers than to factorize them? understand a ...
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Inconsistency in Tegmark's Mathematical Universe Hypothesis?

Physicist Max Tegmark is widely known for proposing that there is a multiverse where mathematical structures would exist as real and actual universes (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/...
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Does Gregory Chaitin propose a computable or an uncomputable ontology?

Gregory Chaitin is a mathematician who thinks that the universe is itself a computer, or similar... He has written papers closely related to the field of hypercomputation (For example, he invented the ...
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Is it there any specific and well known continous/analog alternative to Wheeler's discrete "It from Bit"?

Physicist John A Wheeler (https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Archibald_Wheeler) suggested the concept of "law without law" and "it from bit" which suggested that the universe did not have any laws ...
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Is it there any model of the universe (considered by physicists) which would be the product of a simulation?

There are various philosophical theories that propose that the universe is the product of a simulation. But I was looking for theories that propose this and are also considered by physicists (not only ...
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What is the relationship between computation and Gödel's incompleteness theorems? [closed]

In what way do Godel's incompleteness theorems impact computers/hypercomputers? Do they somehow prevent them from being capable of computing everything (of computing literally all uncomputable/...