The aim of this paper is to address the question: when does a physical system realize (implement) a certain computation? The most developed account that answers this question is Piccinini’s mechanistic account. Our strategy is to start from Piccinini’s reflections, emphasizing different aspects of the problem of realization and thus proposing a novel account. Our idea is to propose a new definition of realization that makes the original question more tractable and easier to scrutinize. We show that our definition has some advantages when dealing with classical objections to accounts of computation in physical systems. The paper is structured in four parts: after the introduction, the first part will introduce mapping accounts of implementation discussing some of their problematic aspects; the second part will present and clarify some prerequisite notions for a definition of realization; the third part will introduce our definition – it will turn out that our definition will identify a specific kind of strategy that Piccinini (2015a; 2015b) calls nomological mapping account; the fourth and final part will be dedicated to analysing the advantages of our definition. Concluding remarks follow.

REALIZING COMPUTATION

VINCENZO FANO;GINO TAROZZI;PIERLUIGI GRAZIANI;MIRKO TAGLIAFERRI
2019

Abstract

The aim of this paper is to address the question: when does a physical system realize (implement) a certain computation? The most developed account that answers this question is Piccinini’s mechanistic account. Our strategy is to start from Piccinini’s reflections, emphasizing different aspects of the problem of realization and thus proposing a novel account. Our idea is to propose a new definition of realization that makes the original question more tractable and easier to scrutinize. We show that our definition has some advantages when dealing with classical objections to accounts of computation in physical systems. The paper is structured in four parts: after the introduction, the first part will introduce mapping accounts of implementation discussing some of their problematic aspects; the second part will present and clarify some prerequisite notions for a definition of realization; the third part will introduce our definition – it will turn out that our definition will identify a specific kind of strategy that Piccinini (2015a; 2015b) calls nomological mapping account; the fourth and final part will be dedicated to analysing the advantages of our definition. Concluding remarks follow.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11576/2670630
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