## What Is Computation?

Citations: | 7 - 2 self |

### BibTeX

@MISC{Copeland_whatis,

author = {B. Jack Copeland},

title = {What Is Computation?},

year = {}

}

### OpenURL

### Abstract

To compute is to execute an algorithm. More precisely, to say that a device or organ computes is to say that there exists a modelling relationship of a certain kind between it and a formal specification of an algorithm and supporting architecture. The key issue is to delimit the phrase 'of a certain kind'. I call this the problem of distinguishing between standard and nonstandard models of computation. The successful drawing of this distinction guards Turing's 1936 analysis of computation against a difficulty that has persistently been raised against it, and undercuts various objections that have been made to the computational theory of mind. 2 I In 1936 Turing published his now famous analysis of the concept of computation. 1 It is true to say that this analysis has become standard in mathematical logic and the sciences. However, there is in the philosophical literature a certain class of problem cases which forms the basis of an objection to Turing's analysis. The thrust of the ...