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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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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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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90 views

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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126 views

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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534 views

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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414 views

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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758 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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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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226 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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116 views

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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197 views

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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205 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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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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127 views

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 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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168 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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94 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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185 views

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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345 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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191 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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142 views

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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109 views

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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112 views

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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547 views

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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127 views

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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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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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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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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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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677 views

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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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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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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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 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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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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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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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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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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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 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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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 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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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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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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