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Computability and recursion
 BULL. SYMBOLIC LOGIC
, 1996
"... We consider the informal concept of “computability” or “effective calculability” and two of the formalisms commonly used to define it, “(Turing) computability” and “(general) recursiveness.” We consider their origin, exact technical definition, concepts, history, general English meanings, how they b ..."
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We consider the informal concept of “computability” or “effective calculability” and two of the formalisms commonly used to define it, “(Turing) computability” and “(general) recursiveness.” We consider their origin, exact technical definition, concepts, history, general English meanings, how they became fixed in their present roles, how they were first and are now used, their impact on nonspecialists, how their use will affect the future content of the subject of computability theory, and its connection to other related areas. After a careful historical and conceptual analysis of computability and recursion we make several recommendations in section §7 about preserving the intensional differences between the concepts of “computability” and “recursion.” Specifically we recommend that: the term “recursive ” should no longer carry the additional meaning of “computable” or “decidable;” functions defined using Turing machines, register machines, or their variants should be called “computable” rather than “recursive;” we should distinguish the intensional difference between Church’s Thesis and Turing’s Thesis, and use the latter particularly in dealing with mechanistic questions; the name of the subject should be “Computability Theory” or simply Computability rather than
Turing Oracle Machines, Online Computing, and Three Displacements in Computability Theory
, 2009
"... ..."
The Incomputable Alan Turing
"... The last century saw dramatic challenges to the Laplacian predictability which had underpinned scientific research for around 300 years. Basic to this was Alan Turing’s 1936 discovery (along with Alonzo Church) of the existence of unsolvable problems. This paper focuses on incomputability as a power ..."
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The last century saw dramatic challenges to the Laplacian predictability which had underpinned scientific research for around 300 years. Basic to this was Alan Turing’s 1936 discovery (along with Alonzo Church) of the existence of unsolvable problems. This paper focuses on incomputability as a powerful theme in Turing’s work and personal life, and examines its role in his evolving concept of machine intelligence. It also traces some of the ways in which important new developments are anticipated by Turing’s ideas in logic.
FROM DESCARTES TO TURING: THE COMPUTATIONAL CONTENT OF SUPERVENIENCE
"... Mathematics can provide precise formulations of relatively vague concepts and problems from the real world, and bring out underlying structure common to diverse scientific areas. Sometimes very natural mathematical concepts lie neglected and not widely understood for many years, before their fundame ..."
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Mathematics can provide precise formulations of relatively vague concepts and problems from the real world, and bring out underlying structure common to diverse scientific areas. Sometimes very natural mathematical concepts lie neglected and not widely understood for many years, before their fundamental relevance is recognised and their explanatory power is fully exploited. The notion of definability in a structure is such a concept, and Turing’s [77] 1939 model of interactive computation provides a fruitful context in which to exercise the usefulness of definability as a powerful and widely applicable source of understanding. In this article we set out to relate this simple idea to one of the oldest and apparently least scientifically approachable of problems — that of realistically modelling how mental properties supervene on physical ones. Mathematics can provide precise formulations of relatively vague concepts and problems from the real world, and bring out underlying structure common to diverse scientific areas. Sometimes very natural mathematical concepts lie neglected and not widely understood for many years, before their fundamental relevance is recognised and their explanatory power is fully exploited. Previously we have argued that the notion of definability in a structure is such a concept, and pointed to Turing’s [77] 1939 model of interactive computation as providing a fruitful context in which to exercise the usefulness of definability as a powerful and widely applicable source of understanding. Below, we relate this simple idea to one of the oldest and apparently least scientifically approachable of problems — that of realistically modelling how mental properties supervene on physical ones. We will first briefly review the origins with René Descartes of mindbody dualism, and the problem of mental causation. We will then summarise the subsequent difficulties encountered, and their current persistence, and the more recent usefulness of the concept of supervenience in
Extensions, Automorphisms, and Definability
 CONTEMPORARY MATHEMATICS
"... This paper contains some results and open questions for automorphisms and definable properties of computably enumerable (c.e.) sets. It has long been apparent in automorphisms of c.e. sets, and is now becoming apparent in applications to topology and dierential geometry, that it is important to ..."
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This paper contains some results and open questions for automorphisms and definable properties of computably enumerable (c.e.) sets. It has long been apparent in automorphisms of c.e. sets, and is now becoming apparent in applications to topology and dierential geometry, that it is important to know the dynamical properties of a c.e. set We , not merely whether an element x is enumerated in We but when, relative to its appearance in other c.e. sets. We present here
Incomputability after Alan Turing
"... The year 2012 marks the 100th anniversary of the birth of Alan Turing. The following two articles were inspired by the work ..."
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The year 2012 marks the 100th anniversary of the birth of Alan Turing. The following two articles were inspired by the work