Cogprints

Does a Rock Implement Every Finite-State Automaton?

Chalmers, David J (1996) Does a Rock Implement Every Finite-State Automaton? [Preprint]

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Abstract

Putnam has argued that computational functionalism cannot serve as a foundation for the study of the mind, as every ordinary open physical system implements every finite-state automaton. I argue that Putnam's argument fails, but that it points out the need for a better understanding of the bridge between the theory of computation and the theory of physical systems: the relation of implementation. It also raises questions about the classes of automata that can serve as a basis for understanding the mind. I develop an account of implementation, linked to an appropriate class of automata, such that the requirement that a system implement a given automaton places a very strong constraint on the system. This clears the way for computation to play a central role in the analysis of mind.

Item Type:Preprint
Subjects:Philosophy > Philosophy of Mind
ID Code:226
Deposited By:Chalmers, David J.
Deposited On:29 Aug 1997
Last Modified:11 Mar 2011 08:53

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