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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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A universal game

In this question by "metagame" I mean a game which functions to create the rules of a sub-game. Is there a universal metagame that would allow to create any game (including itself). Such game would ...
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Similar to Douglas Adam's HGTTG, Is there any philosophy that views human society as a computation?

In Douglas Adam's Hitchhikers guide to the Galaxy, Earth is a supercomputer that is computing the the Ultimate question, whose answer is 42. I was wondering is Douglas Adams was inspired by any ...
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Are uncomputable numbers/things a problem for Wheeler's “it from bit”?

I have some questions related to Wheeler's ideas of "It from bit" and "Law without law" In summary, these both theories postulate that there was an initial universe with no laws from which laws of ...
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Can Schmidhuber's hypothesis reproduce all types of universes? And Wheeler's it from bit? Or Weizsäcker's ur-theory?

I found a paper that talked about paraconsistent logic systems (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paraconsistent_logic) and trivialist systems (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trivialism) and the ...
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Book Recommendation for Computational Theory of Mind

These days I'm really into studying the Computational Theory of Mind (CTM) and I have read papers and documents online. However, I have difficulty capturing the overall (received) theories of CTM at ...
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Is 't Hooft cellular automaton compatible with Floridi's Informational (Structural) Realism?

Informational (Structural) Realism (by Luciano Floridi) relates to digital physics ideas (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Digital_physics) As Floridi himself says in one of his articles (http://philsci-...
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Free will: is reality a record, a game or unpredictable?

If a world is a record (a film), then this scenario does not have conditional rules, i.e., if it can be implemented as a computer program, it will not have "if ... then ..." commands. If a world is a ...
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Where is the knowledge that AI's “knowledge representations” represent?

I find this really confusing. AI often says its computer systems "know" things, but when AI explains how to program a computer to be intelligent, it talks only about "knowledge representation". E.g., ...
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Where to find the “tightened up” definitions of computing mentioned by Searle?

I think it is probably possible to block the result of universal realizability by tightening up our definition of computation. Certainly we ought to respect the fact that programmers and engineers ...
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Is philosophy computation?

If philosophy is mathematics and mathematics is computation, can I conclude that philosophy is computation? Can we axiomatize philosophy? Can a computer think for us, given the current rise of AI? I'...
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The mathematical language of the brain

This question is similar, but not identical, to one I posted to the mathematics SE some time ago. I was originally unsure of where to post it. I believe this question is sufficiently different to ...
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346 views

Can computers do things Turing machines can't?

Today's electronic digital computers are often referred to as universal Turing machines. That is, the concept of the UTM is used to understand today's stored-program electronic digital computers. But ...
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What are the philosophical points that make bear out in the ZFC vs ZF debate?

Or rather why do some people vehemently reject axiom of choice? I am interested from this from the perspective of the philosophy of computation. Intuitively, from the little I know, it seems people ...
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Why doesn't the Chinese room learn Chinese?

I just can't see how John Searle's Chinese room makes sense. The room passes the Turing test. People outside the room think there's a human inside who understands Chinese. But, Searle explains, the ...
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Is ESP, in particular telepathy, not computable?

In Alan Turing’s “Computing Machinery and Intelligence” he writes in 6(9) The Argument from Extrasensory Perception that I assume that the reader is familiar with the idea of extrasensory ...
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Does adding structure make the Chinese room semantic?

The Chinese room reacts just to syntax, or shape of symbols (is purely syntactic). But brains are full of structure. In the room, Chinese symbols sit scattered in "piles" on the floor or are moved ...
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Is computationalism really a theory, or is it more like a doctrine or creed?

When studying AI, computationalism was always referred to as a theory, a theory of mind, the theory that the mind is an executing computation. But is it really a theory? How could it be disproved or ...
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Dichotomy problem: limits of binary systems

What are the limitations of accumulating or storing knowledge in a binary system? For a more concrete question, can all knowledge information be represented by an infinite sequence of 1's and 0's or ...
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Does Bitcoin disprove solipsism?

According to Wikipedia, solipsism is the philosophical idea that only one's own mind is sure to exist. In 1993, Cynthia Dwork and Moni Naor proposed the idea that one could use proof-of-work to ...
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Is quantum indeterminacy inextricable from observation?

I understand uncertainty from a combinatorial and game theoretic perspective, as functions of incomplete or imperfect information, or intractability which is a type of inaccessible information in that ...
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Logic and Computation : a philosophical viewpoint

The link between logic and computation is stronger than ever, especially since the establishment of the Curry-Howard isomorphism specifying that proofs can be seen as programs and formulas as program'...
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Rethinking arithmetic operations after J.L. Austin's performativity?

According to Kant, arithmetic statements such as "7+5=12" are synthetic a priori. Could we alternatively think of this not as a statement, but as an arithmetic-logic operation to be executed (like a ...
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What is understanding (of natural language texts) and how can we test or measure it?

What is the definition of the understanding of (written) natural language and how can we test or measure this understanding? What is understanding of the symbolic knowledge be it encoded in any form? ...
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Ancestor Simulations Theory contradicts Chaos Theory, Quantum Mechanics and Irreducibility? [closed]

(NB. I've no training as a philosopher, but I'm a student of science with an interest) So there in the media this theory of reality as a simulation is gaining popularity, mostly because of types as ...
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How does Penrose defeat the computational theory of mind?

In Shadows Of The Mind Roger Penrose puts forth a Gödelian argument against the computational theory of mind. He then goes on to suggest that quantum mechanics plays a central role in the realization ...
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Does the simulation hypothesis confuse discovering with inventing?

The simulation hypothesis seems to stipulate that the actual simulation is what makes the inhabitants of the simulated universe to come alive, to exist. This is what I am questioning. If I create a ...
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Scientificity of the Church-Turing's thesis

The definition of the Church-Turing's thesis is an attempt at capturing the intuitive idea of effective computability or "things that can actually be calculated". It has been said that it is not ...
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Do supporters of “machine creativity” necessarily support “natural creativity”?

Recently, someone asked Can computers be programmed to be creative? on Philosophy SE. The answers seem to be divided into two competing theories: If creativity is defined by the ability to create an ...
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336 views

Given proofs of A → B and A, when do we get a proof of B?

In intuitionistic mathematics, a proposition is true only when a proof of it has been experienced. Following the BHK semantics, a proof of A → B is an algorithm that, when given a proof of A, will ...
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Does a computational model of introspection exist?

This post contains a related question. Probably it is easier (not claiming the computational theory of mind is true) to analyze, if there at least exists an abstract computational machine that is ...
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What do dual-intuitionistic and minimal logic model?

As someone interested in theoretical computer science, I'm fairly comfortable with what intuitionistic logic represents. An intuitionistic proof is a proof we can act upon algorithmically. The law of ...
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139 views

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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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 (by which I mean a non-simulated ...
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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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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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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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Do machine learning algorithms have knowledge?

By "machine learning algorithm" I'm referring to basic, primarily statistical, machine learning algorithms; for concrete examples consider simple classifier algorithms like SVM or Bayesian classifier ...
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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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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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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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607 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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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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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 ...