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A connectionist theory of phenomenal experience
 Behavioral and Brain Sciences
, 1999
"... Abstract (Long) When cognitive scientists apply computational theory to the problem of phenomenal consciousness, as many of them have been doing recently, there are two fundamentally distinct approaches available. Either consciousness is to be explained in terms of the nature of the representational ..."
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Abstract (Long) When cognitive scientists apply computational theory to the problem of phenomenal consciousness, as many of them have been doing recently, there are two fundamentally distinct approaches available. Either consciousness is to be explained in terms of the nature of the representational vehicles the brain deploys; or it is to be explained in terms of the computational processes defined over these vehicles. We call versions of these two approaches vehicle and process theories of consciousness, respectively. However, while there may be space for vehicle theories of consciousness in cognitive science, they are relatively rare. This is because of the influence exerted, on the one hand, by a large body of research which purports to show that the explicit representation of information in the brain and conscious experience are dissociable, and on the other, by the classical computational theory of mind – the theory that takes human cognition to be a species of symbol manipulation. But two recent developments in cognitive science combine to suggest that a reappraisal of this situation is in order. First, a number of theorists have recently been highly critical of the experimental methodologies employed in the dissociation studies – so critical, in fact, it’s no longer reasonable to assume that the dissociability of conscious experience and explicit representation has been adequately demonstrated. Second, classicism, as a theory of human cognition, is no longer as dominant in
Accelerated Turing Machines
 Minds and Machines
, 2002
"... Abstract. Accelerating Turing machines are Turing machines of a sort able to perform tasks that are commonly regarded as impossible for Turing machines. For example, they can determine whether or not the decimal representation of π contains n consecutive 7s, for any n; solve the Turingmachine halti ..."
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Abstract. Accelerating Turing machines are Turing machines of a sort able to perform tasks that are commonly regarded as impossible for Turing machines. For example, they can determine whether or not the decimal representation of π contains n consecutive 7s, for any n; solve the Turingmachine halting problem; and decide the predicate calculus. Are accelerating Turing machines, then, logically impossible devices? I argue that they are not. There are implications concerning the nature of effective procedures and the theoretical limits of computability. Contrary to a recent paper by Bringsjord, Bello and Ferrucci, however, the concept of an accelerating Turing machine cannot be used to shove up Searle’s Chinese room argument.
Hypercomputation and the Physical ChurchTuring Thesis
, 2003
"... A version of the ChurchTuring Thesis states that every e#ectively realizable physical system can be defined by Turing Machines (`Thesis P'); in this formulation the Thesis appears an empirical, more than a logicomathematical, proposition. We review the main approaches to computation beyond Turing ..."
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A version of the ChurchTuring Thesis states that every e#ectively realizable physical system can be defined by Turing Machines (`Thesis P'); in this formulation the Thesis appears an empirical, more than a logicomathematical, proposition. We review the main approaches to computation beyond Turing definability (`hypercomputation'): supertask, nonwellfounded, analog, quantum, and retrocausal computation. These models depend on infinite computation, explicitly or implicitly, and appear physically implausible; moreover, even if infinite computation were realizable, the Halting Problem would not be a#ected. Therefore, Thesis P is not essentially di#erent from the standard ChurchTuring Thesis.
Physical Hypercomputation and the Church–Turing Thesis
, 2003
"... We describe a possible physical device that computes a function that cannot be computed by a Turing machine. The device is physical in the sense that it is compatible with General Relativity. We discuss some objections, focusing on those which deny that the device is either a computer or computes a ..."
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We describe a possible physical device that computes a function that cannot be computed by a Turing machine. The device is physical in the sense that it is compatible with General Relativity. We discuss some objections, focusing on those which deny that the device is either a computer or computes a function that is not Turing computable. Finally, we argue that the existence of the device does not refute the Church–Turing thesis, but nevertheless may be a counterexample to Gandy’s thesis.
Is the Brain Analog or Digital? The Solution and Its Consequences for Cognitive Science
, 2000
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2002]: „On Effective procedures
 Minds and Machines
"... Abstract. Since the midtwentieth century, the concept of the Turing machine has dominated thought about effective procedures. This paper presents an alternative to Turing’s analysis; it unifies, refines, and extends my earlier work on this topic. I show that Turing machines cannot live up to their ..."
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Abstract. Since the midtwentieth century, the concept of the Turing machine has dominated thought about effective procedures. This paper presents an alternative to Turing’s analysis; it unifies, refines, and extends my earlier work on this topic. I show that Turing machines cannot live up to their billing as paragons of effective procedure; at best, they may be said to provide us with mere procedure schemas. I argue that the concept of an effective procedure crucially depends upon distinguishing procedures as definite courses of action( types) from the particular courses of action(tokens) that actually instantiate them and the causal processes and/or interpretations that ultimately make them effective. On my analysis, effectiveness is not just a matter of logical form; ‘content ’ matters. The analysis I provide has the advantage of applying to ordinary, everyday procedures such as recipes and methods, as well as the more refined procedures of mathematics and computer science. It also has the virtue of making better sense of the physical possibilities for hypercomputation than the received view and its extensions, e.g. Turing’s omachines, accelerating machines. Key words: causal process, effective procedure, hypercomputation, precisely described instruction, procedure schema, quotidian procedure, Turing machine 1.
Why Church's thesis still holds: Some notes on Peter Wegner's tracts on interaction and computability
 Computer Journal
, 1998
"... Peter Wegner’s definition of computability differs markedly from the classical term as established by Church, Kleene, Markov, Post, Turing et al. Wegner identifies interaction as the main feature of today’s systems which is lacking in the classical treatment of computability. We compare the differen ..."
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Peter Wegner’s definition of computability differs markedly from the classical term as established by Church, Kleene, Markov, Post, Turing et al. Wegner identifies interaction as the main feature of today’s systems which is lacking in the classical treatment of computability. We compare the different approaches and argue whether or not Wegner’s criticism is appropriate. Taking into account the major arguments from the literature, we show that Church’s thesis still holds. 1.
GUALTIERO PICCININI COMPUTATIONALISM, THE CHURCH–TURING THESIS, AND THE CHURCH–TURING FALLACY
"... ABSTRACT. The Church–Turing Thesis (CTT) is often employed in arguments for computationalism. I scrutinize the most prominent of such arguments in light of recent work on CTT and argue that they are unsound. Although CTT does nothing to support computationalism, it is not irrelevant to it. By elimin ..."
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ABSTRACT. The Church–Turing Thesis (CTT) is often employed in arguments for computationalism. I scrutinize the most prominent of such arguments in light of recent work on CTT and argue that they are unsound. Although CTT does nothing to support computationalism, it is not irrelevant to it. By eliminating misunderstandings about the relationship between CTT and computationalism, we deepen our appreciation of computationalism as an empirical hypothesis. Computationalism, or the Computational Theory of Mind, is the view that mental capacities are explained by inner computations. In the case of human beings, computationalists typically assume that inner computations are realized by neural processes; I will borrow a term from current neuroscience and refer to them as neural computations. 1 Typically, computationalists also maintain that neural computations are Turingcomputable, that is, computable by Turing Machines (TMs). The Church–Turing thesis (CTT) says that a function is computable, in the intuitive sense, if and only if it is Turingcomputable (Church 1936; Turing 1936–7). CTT entails that TMs, and any formalism equivalent to TMs, capture the intuitive notion of computation. In other words, according to CTT, if a function is computable in the intuitive sense, then there is a TM that computes it (or equivalently, it is Turingcomputable). 2 This applies to neural computations as well. Suppose that, as computationalism maintains, neural activity is computation, and suppose that the functions computed by neural mechanisms are computable in the intuitive sense. Then, by CTT, for any function computed by a neural mechanism, there is a TM that computes the same function. This is a legitimate argument for a technical version of computationalism, according to which neural computations are Turingcomputable, from a generic one, according to which neural processes are computations in the intuitive sense, via CTT. But should we believe CTT? The initial proponents of CTT, and most of CTT’s supporters, appeal to a number of intuitive