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Beyond Digital Naturalism
, 1994
"... The success of Artificial Life depends on whether it will help solving the conceptual problems of biology. Biology may be viewed as the science of the transformation of organizations. And, yet, biology lacks a theory of organization. We use this as an example of the challenge that Artificial Life mu ..."
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The success of Artificial Life depends on whether it will help solving the conceptual problems of biology. Biology may be viewed as the science of the transformation of organizations. And, yet, biology lacks a theory of organization. We use this as an example of the challenge that Artificial Life must meet. "If  as I believe  physics and chemistry are conceptually inadequate as a theoretical framework for biology, it is because they lack the concept of function, and hence that of organization. [...] [P]erhaps, therefore, we should give the [...] computer scientists more of a say in the formulation of Theoretical Biology."  Christopher LonguetHiggins, 1969 [29] 1 Life and the organization problem in biology There are two readings of "life": "life" as an embodied phenomenon and "life" as a concept. Foucault [20] points out that up to the end of the eighteenth century life does not exist: only living beings. Living beings are but a class in the series of all things in the world. T...
The Sources of Certainty in Computation and Formal Systems
, 1999
"... In his Discourse on the Method of Rightly Conducting the Reason, and Seeking Truth in the Sciences, Rene Descartes sought \clear and certain knowledge of all that is useful in life." Almost three centuries later, in \The foundations of mathematics," David Hilbert tried to \recast mathematical deniti ..."
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In his Discourse on the Method of Rightly Conducting the Reason, and Seeking Truth in the Sciences, Rene Descartes sought \clear and certain knowledge of all that is useful in life." Almost three centuries later, in \The foundations of mathematics," David Hilbert tried to \recast mathematical denitions and inferences in such a way that they are unshakable." Hilbert's program relied explicitly on formal systems (equivalently, computational systems) to provide certainty in mathematics. The concepts of computation and formal system were not dened in his time, but Descartes' method may be understood as seeking certainty in essentially the same way. In this article, I explain formal systems as concrete artifacts, and investigate the way in which they provide a high level of certainty arguably the highest level achievable by rational discourse. The rich understanding of formal systems achieved by mathematical logic and computer science in this century illuminates the nature of programs,...
The Sources of Certainty in Computation and Formal Systems
"... In his Discourse on the Method of Rightly Conducting the Reason, and Seeking Truth in the Sciences, Rene Descartes sought \clear and certain knowledge of all that is useful in life." Almost three centuries later, in \The foundations of mathematics," David Hilbert tried to \recast mathematical deniti ..."
Abstract
 Add to MetaCart
In his Discourse on the Method of Rightly Conducting the Reason, and Seeking Truth in the Sciences, Rene Descartes sought \clear and certain knowledge of all that is useful in life." Almost three centuries later, in \The foundations of mathematics," David Hilbert tried to \recast mathematical denitions and inferences in such a way that they are unshakable." Hilbert's program relied explicitly on formal systems (equivalently, computational systems) to provide certainty in mathematics. The concepts of computation and formal system were not dened in his time, but Descartes' method may be understood as seeking certainty in essentially the same way. In this article, I explain formal systems as concrete artifacts, and investigate the way in which they provide a high level of certainty arguably the highest level achievable by rational discourse. The rich understanding of formal systems achieved by mathematical logic and computer science in this century illuminates the nature of programs,...