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  • 1.
    Coelho Mollo, Dimitri
    Berlin School of Mind and Brain, Humboldt Universitaet zu Berlin, Berlin, Germany.
    Are There Teleological Functions to Compute?2019In: Philosophy of science (East Lansing), ISSN 0031-8248, E-ISSN 1539-767X, Vol. 86, no 3, p. 431-452Article in journal (Refereed)
    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.

  • 2.
    Coelho Mollo, Dimitri
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Arts, Department of historical, philosophical and religious studies.
    Vernazzani, Alfredo
    Institut für Philosophie II, Ruhr-Universität Bochum, Bochum, Germany.
    The formats of cognitive representation: a computational account2023In: Philosophy of science (East Lansing), ISSN 0031-8248, E-ISSN 1539-767XArticle in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Cognitive representations are typically analysed in terms of content, vehicle and format. While current work on formats appeals to intuitions about external representations, such as words and maps, in this paper we develop a computational view of formats that does not rely on intuitions. In our view, formats are individuated by the computational profiles of vehicles, i.e., the set of constraints that fix the computational transformations vehicles can undergo. The resulting picture is strongly pluralistic, it makes space for a variety of different formats, and is intimately tied to the computational approach to cognition in cognitive science and artificial intelligence.

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  • 3.
    Loew, Christian
    Université du Luxembourg, Maison des Sciences Humaines.
    Fundamentality and Time’s Arrow2018In: Philosophy of science (East Lansing), ISSN 0031-8248, E-ISSN 1539-767X, Vol. 85, no 3, p. 483-500Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The distribution of matter in our universe is strikingly time asymmetric. Most famously, the Second Law of Thermodynamics says that entropy tends to increase toward the future but not toward the past. But what explains this time-asymmetric distribution of matter? In this article, I explore the idea that time itself has a direction by drawing from recent work on grounding and metaphysical fundamentality. I will argue that positing such a direction of time, in addition to time-asymmetric boundary conditions (such as the so-called past hypothesis), enables a better explanation of the thermodynamic asymmetry than is available otherwise.

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  • 4.
    Loew, Christian
    Institute of Philosophy, University of Luxembourg.
    The Asymmetry of Counterfactual Dependence2017In: Philosophy of science (East Lansing), ISSN 0031-8248, E-ISSN 1539-767X, Vol. 84, no 3, p. 436-455Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    A certain type of counterfactual is thought to be intimately related to causation, control, and explanation. The time asymmetry of these phenomena therefore plausibly arises from a time asymmetry of counterfactual dependence. But why is counterfactual dependence time asymmetric? The most influential account of the time asymmetry of counterfactual dependence is David Albert?s account, which posits a new, time-asymmetric fundamental physical law, the so-called past hypothesis. Albert argues that the time asymmetry of counterfactual dependence arises from holding fixed the past hypothesis when evaluating counterfactuals. In this article, I argue that Albert?s account misconstrues the time asymmetry of counterfactual dependence.

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