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Are There Teleological Functions to Compute?
Berlin School of Mind and Brain, Humboldt Universitaet zu Berlin, Berlin, Germany.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-0464-3535
2019 (English)In: Philosophy of science (East Lansing), ISSN 0031-8248, E-ISSN 1539-767X, Vol. 86, no 3, p. 431-452Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

I analyze a tension at the core of the mechanistic view of computation generated by its joint commitment to the medium independence of computational vehicles and to computational systems possessing teleological functions to compute. While computation is individuated in medium-independent terms, teleology is sensitive to the constitutive physical properties of vehicles. This tension spells trouble for the mechanistic view, suggesting that there can be no teleological functions to compute. I argue that, once considerations about the relevant function-bestowing factors for computational systems are brought to bear, the tension dissolves: physical systems can have the teleological function to compute.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Cambridge University Press, 2019. Vol. 86, no 3, p. 431-452
National Category
Philosophy
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-193487DOI: 10.1086/703554ISI: 000474475700003Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-85068172654OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-193487DiVA, id: diva2:1649712
Available from: 2022-04-04 Created: 2022-04-04 Last updated: 2022-04-05Bibliographically approved

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Coelho Mollo, Dimitri

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