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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What is the philosophical basis of the relation among reasoning, formal logic, and Turing machines?

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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163 views

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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158 views

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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Computers, Artificial Intelligence, and Epistemology

Some classification schemes don't list logic as a separate branch of philosophy. I assume they regard logic as a component of epistemology. Of course, others regard logic as a separate branch. The ...
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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/...
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Is it possible to mathematically define a hypercomputer-universe where things that could not be computed by it could exist? [duplicate]

There are a few physicists that propose that the universe is a hypercomputer. One example is Roger Penrose, who, basing in his quantum interpretation (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/...
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Can hypercomputation compute the impossible?

There are things which are illogical/logically impossible (like saying that 2+2=4 and 2+2=5. Without changing anything in the axioms of mathematics or logic, this would be a contradiction and would be ...
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What does philosophy say about the normativity of simulated thought within the analytical tradition?

Given the coherence theory of truth, new propositions must observe previous theory and logic (i.e. every thinking step must be consistent with rules of logic); many analytic philosophies believe it is ...
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A universal game [closed]

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 ...