Tuesday, 13 October 2009
Does a Rock Perform Every Computation?
Mark Sprevak (Visiting Fellow), King's College, Cambridge
12:05 pm, 817R Cathedral of Learning
Abstract: Computational explanations have become common in the natural sciences. Such explanations offer clear pragmatic benefits, but the status of computational explanations as claims of literal truth often remains obscure. What does it mean for a physical system to perform a computation? Is computation a real (objective) property of a physical system, or is it only a property that we project onto the system? In this paper, I explore answers to these questions, a challenge from Putnam that they face, and consequences for computational accounts of the mind.