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Journal of the International Association for Semiotic Studies / Revue de l'Association Internationale de Sémiotique

Editor-in-Chief: Danesi, Marcel

6 Issues per year

CiteScore 2016: 0.32

SCImago Journal Rank (SJR) 2016: 0.240
Source Normalized Impact per Paper (SNIP) 2016: 0.819

Agenzia Nazionale di Valutazione del Sistema Universitario e della Ricerca: Classe A

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Volume 2012, Issue 188


Is computation based on interpretation?

Marcin Miłkowski,
Published Online: 2012-02-18 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/sem-2012-0015


I argue that influential purely syntactic views of computation, shared by such philosophers as John Searle and Hilary Putnam, are mistaken. First, I discuss common objections, and during the discussion I mention additional necessary conditions of implementation of computations in physical processes that are neglected in classical philosophical accounts of computation. Then I try to show why realism in regards of physical computations is more plausible, and more coherent with any realistic attitude towards natural science than the received view, and distinguish computational simulation, implementation, and re-engineering. I also point out the sources of confusion about what computation is that seem to stem from disregarding the use/mention distinction.

Keywords:: computation; implementation; algorithm; complexity; realism; Searle

About the article

Published Online: 2012-02-18

Published in Print: 2012-02-01

Citation Information: , Volume 2012, Issue 188, Pages 219–228, ISSN (Online) 1613-3692, ISSN (Print) 0037-1998, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/sem-2012-0015.

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© 2012 Walter de Gruyter GmbH & Co. KG, Berlin/Boston. Copyright Clearance Center

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