Does a rock implement every finite-state automaton?

@article{Chalmers2004DoesAR,
  title={Does a rock implement every finite-state automaton?},
  author={D. Chalmers},
  journal={Synthese},
  year={2004},
  volume={108},
  pages={309-333}
}
  • D. Chalmers
  • Published 1 September 1996
  • Computer Science
  • Synthese
Hilary Putnam has argued that computational functionalism cannot serve as a foundation for the study of the mind, as every ordinary open physical system implements every finite-state automaton. I argue that Putnam's argument fails, but that it points out the need for a better understanding of the bridge between the theory of computation and the theory of physical systems: the relation of implementation. It also raises questions about the class of automata that can serve as a basis for… 
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A precise definition of the realization of a Turing-computable algorithm into a physical situation is given and Gandy machines, intended in a physical sense, are analysed as a case study and an inaccuracy in Gandy’s analysis with respect to the locality notion is shown, showing the epistemological relevance of this realization concept.
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