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Emergence as a ComputabilityTheoretic Phenomenon
, 2008
"... In dealing with emergent phenomena, a common task is to identify useful descriptions of them in terms of the underlying atomic processes, and to extract enough computational content from these descriptions to enable predictions to be made. Generally, the underlying atomic processes are quite well un ..."
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In dealing with emergent phenomena, a common task is to identify useful descriptions of them in terms of the underlying atomic processes, and to extract enough computational content from these descriptions to enable predictions to be made. Generally, the underlying atomic processes are quite well understood, and (with important exceptions) captured by mathematics from which it is relatively easy to extract algorithmic content. A widespread view is that the difficulty in describing transitions from algorithmic activity to the emergence associated with chaotic situations is a simple case of complexity outstripping computational resources and human ingenuity. Or, on the other hand, that phenomena transcending the standard Turing model of computation, if they exist, must necessarily lie outside the domain of classical computability theory. In this talk we suggest that much of the current confusion arises from conceptual gaps and the lack of a suitably fundamental model within which to situate emergence. We examine the potential for placing emergent relations in a familiar context based on Turing’s 1939 model for interactive computation over structures described in terms of reals. The explanatory power of this model is explored, formalising informal descriptions in terms of mathematical definability and invariance, and relating a range of basic scientific puzzles to results and intractable problems in computability theory. In this talk
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
2004], There is no low maximal d.c.e. degree — corrigendum
 Math. Log. Quart
"... We give a corrected proof of an extension of the Robinson Splitting Theorem for the d.c.e. degrees. The purpose of this short paper is to clarify and correct the main result and proof contained in [1]. There we gave a simple proof that there exists no low maximal d.c.e. degree. This was obtained as ..."
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We give a corrected proof of an extension of the Robinson Splitting Theorem for the d.c.e. degrees. The purpose of this short paper is to clarify and correct the main result and proof contained in [1]. There we gave a simple proof that there exists no low maximal d.c.e. degree. This was obtained as an immediate corollary of the following strengthening of the Robinson Splitting
Incomputability, Emergence and the Turing Universe
"... Amongst the huge literature concerning emergence, reductionism and mechanism, there is a role for analysis of the underlying mathematical constraints. Much of the speculation, confusion, controversy and descriptive verbiage might be clarified via suitable modelling and theory. The key ingredients we ..."
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Amongst the huge literature concerning emergence, reductionism and mechanism, there is a role for analysis of the underlying mathematical constraints. Much of the speculation, confusion, controversy and descriptive verbiage might be clarified via suitable modelling and theory. The key ingredients we bring to this project are the mathematical notions of definability and invariance, a computability theoretic framework in a realworld context, and within that, the modelling of basic causal environments via Turing’s 1939 notion of interactive computation over a structure described in terms of reals. Useful outcomes are: a refinement of what one understands to be a causal relationship, including nonmechanistic, irreversible causal relationships; an appreciation of how the mathematically simple origins of incomputability in definable hierarchies are materialised in the real world; and an understanding of the powerful explanatory role of current computability theoretic developments. The theme of this article concerns the way in which mathematics can structure everyday discussions around a range of important issues — and can also reinforce intuitions about theoretical links between different aspects of the real world. This fits with the widespread sense of excitement and expectation felt in many fields — and of a corresponding confusion — and of a tension characteristic of a Kuhnian paradigm shift. What we have below can be seen as tentative steps towards the sort of mathematical modelling needed for such a shift to be completed. In section 1, we outline the decisive role mathematics played in the birth of modern science; and how, more recently, it has helped us towards a better understanding of the nature and limitations of the scientific enterprise. In section 2, we review how the mathematics brings out inherent contradictions in the Laplacian model of scientific activity. And we look at some of the approaches to dealing
Splitting and Nonsplitting in the Σ 0 2 Enumeration Degrees ∗
"... This paper continues the project, initiated in [ACK], of describing general conditions under which relative splittings are derivable in the local structure of the enumeration degrees, for which the Ershov hierarchy provides an informative setting. The main results below include a proof that any hig ..."
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This paper continues the project, initiated in [ACK], of describing general conditions under which relative splittings are derivable in the local structure of the enumeration degrees, for which the Ershov hierarchy provides an informative setting. The main results below include a proof that any high total edegree below 0 ′ e is splittable over any low edegree below it, a noncupping result in the high enumeration degrees which occurs at a low level of the Ershov hierarchy, and a ∅ ′′ ′priority construction of a Π 0 1 edegree unsplittable over a 3c.e. edegree below it. 1
SPLITTING AND JUMP INVERSION IN THE TURING DEGREES
"... Abstract. It is shown that for any computably enumerable degree a � = 0, any degree c � = 0, and any Turing degree s, if s ≥ 0 ′ , and c.e. in a, then there exists a c.e. degree x with the following properties, (1) x < a, c � ≤ x, (2) a is splittable over x, and (3) x ′ = s. This implies that the S ..."
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Abstract. It is shown that for any computably enumerable degree a � = 0, any degree c � = 0, and any Turing degree s, if s ≥ 0 ′ , and c.e. in a, then there exists a c.e. degree x with the following properties, (1) x < a, c � ≤ x, (2) a is splittable over x, and (3) x ′ = s. This implies that the Sacks ’ splitting theorem and the Sacks ’ jump theorem can be uniformly combined. A corollary is that there is no atomic jump class consisting entirely of Harrington nonsplitting bases. 1.
The Extended Turing Model As Contextual Tool
"... Abstract. Computability concerns information with a causal – typically algorithmic – structure. As such, it provides a schematic analysis of many naturally occurring situations. We look at ways in which computabilitytheoretic structure emerges in natural contexts. We will look at how algorithmic str ..."
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Abstract. Computability concerns information with a causal – typically algorithmic – structure. As such, it provides a schematic analysis of many naturally occurring situations. We look at ways in which computabilitytheoretic structure emerges in natural contexts. We will look at how algorithmic structure does not just emerge mathematically from information, but how that emergent structure can model the emergence of very basic aspects of the real world. The adequacy of the classical Turing model of computation — as first presented in [18] — is in question in many contexts. There is widespread doubt concerning the reducibility to this model of a broad spectrum of realworld processes and natural phenomena, from basic quantum mechanics to aspects of evolutionary development, or human mental activity. In 1939 Turing [19] described an extended model providing mathematical form to the algorithmic content of structures which are presented in terms of real numbers. Most scientific laws with a computational content can be framed
, # (. " /01The Impossibility of an E¤ective Theory of Policy in a Complex Economy
, 2005
"... It is shown that for a ‘complex economy’, characterised in terms of a formal dynamical system capable of computation universality, it is impossible to devise an e¤ective theory of policy. ..."
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It is shown that for a ‘complex economy’, characterised in terms of a formal dynamical system capable of computation universality, it is impossible to devise an e¤ective theory of policy.