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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.
Even Turing Machines Can Compute Uncomputable Functions
 Unconventional Models of Computation
, 1998
"... Accelerated Turing machines are Turing machines that perform tasks commonly regarded as impossible, such as computing the halting function. The existence of these notional machines has obvious implications concerning the theoretical limits of computability. 2 1. Introduction Neither Turing nor Post ..."
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Cited by 15 (3 self)
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Accelerated Turing machines are Turing machines that perform tasks commonly regarded as impossible, such as computing the halting function. The existence of these notional machines has obvious implications concerning the theoretical limits of computability. 2 1. Introduction Neither Turing nor Post, in their descriptions of the devices we now call Turing machines, made much mention of time (Turing 1936, Post 1936). 1 They listed the primitive operations that their devices perform  read a square of the tape, write a single symbol on a square of the tape (first deleting any symbol already present), move one square to the right, and so forth  but they made no mention of the duration of each primitive operation. The crucial concept is that of whether or not the machine halts after a finite number of operations. Temporal considerations are not relevant to the functioning of the devices as described, nor  so we are clearly supposed to believe  to the soundness of the proofs that Turi...
Constraints on Hypercomputation, in
 Logical Approaches to Computational Barriers: Second Conference on Computability in Europe, CiE 2006
, 2006
"... “To infinity, and beyond!”, Buzz Lightyear, Toy Story, Pixar, 1995. Many attempts to transcend the fundamental limitations to computability implied by the Halting Problem for Turing Machines depend on the use of forms of hypercomputation that draw on notions of infinite or continuous, as opposed to ..."
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“To infinity, and beyond!”, Buzz Lightyear, Toy Story, Pixar, 1995. Many attempts to transcend the fundamental limitations to computability implied by the Halting Problem for Turing Machines depend on the use of forms of hypercomputation that draw on notions of infinite or continuous, as opposed to bounded or discrete, computation. Thus, such schemes may include the deployment of actualised rather than potential infinities of physical resources, or of physical representations of real numbers to arbitrary precision. Here, we argue that such bases for hypercomputation are not materially realisable and so cannot constitute new forms of effective calculability. 1
The Narrational Case against Church's Thesis
 Journal of Philosophy
, 1998
"... this paper presented at the 1993 Eastern APA meetings in Atlanta  comments which I incorporate in my response to Mendelson's response. I'm grateful to Michael McMenamin for providing, in his unpublished "Deciding Uncountable Sets and Church's Thesis," an excellent objection to my attack on Church ..."
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this paper presented at the 1993 Eastern APA meetings in Atlanta  comments which I incorporate in my response to Mendelson's response. I'm grateful to Michael McMenamin for providing, in his unpublished "Deciding Uncountable Sets and Church's Thesis," an excellent objection to my attack on Church's Thesis (which I rebut below).
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
Typology and Logical Structure of Natural Languages
, 1993
"... This paper focuses on some relationships between logic and natural languages, a topic that is crucial in Western philosophy (From Aristotle, to medieval Modistae, to Leibniz and the founders of modern mathematical logic). Specifically, the search for a universal grammar is considered in connection w ..."
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This paper focuses on some relationships between logic and natural languages, a topic that is crucial in Western philosophy (From Aristotle, to medieval Modistae, to Leibniz and the founders of modern mathematical logic). Specifically, the search for a universal grammar is considered in connection with linguistic typology (see Greenberg 's Universals of Grammar) and formalisms for knowledge representation (see Kamp, Moore). A preliminary investigation proves that usual linguistic concepts could be incorporated into a formal theory of general explicative power. This suggests a logical theory of grammars, where classical linguistic analysis is generalized and formalized. The conceptual and terminological apparatus of traditional grammars has two serious limitations: GreekLatin dependence and informal (semantic and pragmatic) aspects. We show that the elimination of these features provides a suitable basis for expressing intrinsic linguistic phenomena. As a consequence, a theory of logi...