# 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} }

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…

## 213 Citations

Real realization: Dennett’s real patterns versus
Putnam’s ubiquitous automata

- PhilosophyMinds and Machines
- 2006

It is argued that Dennett’s approach to reverse engineering allows us to recognize that some realizations are better than others, and the line between real realizations and non-realizations is not sharp.

Combinatorial-State Automata and Models of Computation

- Computer Science, Biology
- 2012

It is argued that the CSA is not a computational model in the usual sense because CSAs do not perspicuously represent algorithms, and because they are too powerful both in that they can perform any computation in a single step and in that without so far unspecified restrictions they can “compute” the uncomputable.

On implementing a computation

- Computer ScienceMinds and Machines
- 2004

An account of implementation, based on the idea that a physical system implements a computation if the causal structure of the system mirrors the formal structure ofThe computation, is developed for the class of combinatorial-state automata but is sufficiently general to cover all other discrete computational formalisms.

Implementation and indeterminacy

- Biology, Computer Science
- 2003

It is argued that the CSA is not a computational model in the usual sense because CSAs do not perspicuously represent algorithms, are too powerful both in that they can perform any computation in a single step and in that without so far unspecified restrictions they can "compute" the uncomputable.

A Behavioural Foundation for Natural Computing and a Programmability Test

- Computer ScienceArXiv
- 2013

A behavioural characterisation of computing in terms of a measure of programmability, which reflects a system’s ability to react to external stimuli, is proposed, which is useful for classifying computers in Terms of the apparent algorithmic complexity of their evolution in time.

The Role of Observers in Computations

- Computer ScienceMinds and Machines
- 2018

The Computing by Observing paradigm is looked at, a theoretical model of computation that includes an observer and it is argued that the observers used there are good candidates for formalizing the way in which the syntax of a process must be analysed in order to judge whether it is computational.

Logically Possible Machines

- Philosophy, Computer ScienceMinds and Machines
- 2004

I use modal logic and transfinite set-theory to define metaphysical foundations for a general theory of computation. A possible universe is a certain kind of situation; a situation is a set of facts.…

Computation, Implementation, Cognition

- PhilosophyMinds and Machines
- 2012

The conclusion is that the idea that the implementation of the right kind of automaton suffices for a possession of a mind is dubious.

A counting argument against triviality

- Philosophy
- 2017

Computational triviality arguments attempt to show every physical system of sufficient complexity realizes every computational system. A standard response to these arguments is to note computational…

Are Gandy Machines Really Local

- Philosophy
- 2016

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.

## References

SHOWING 1-10 OF 13 REFERENCES

On implementing a computation

- Computer ScienceMinds and Machines
- 2004

An account of implementation, based on the idea that a physical system implements a computation if the causal structure of the system mirrors the formal structure ofThe computation, is developed for the class of combinatorial-state automata but is sufficiently general to cover all other discrete computational formalisms.

Minds, brains, and programs

- PhilosophyBehavioral and Brain Sciences
- 1980

Only a machine could think, and only very special kinds of machines, namely brains and machines with internal causal powers equivalent to those of brains, and no program by itself is sufficient for thinking.

Is the Brain a Digital Computer

- Philosophy
- 1990

The argument rests on the simple logical truth that syntax is not the same as, nor is it by itself sufficient for, semantics.

Representation and Reality

- Philosophy
- 1988

Part 1 Meaning and mentalism: Fodor and Chomsky three reasons why mentalism can't be right connections between 1,2, and 3. Part 2 Meaning, other people and the world: the division of linguistic…

Psychologism and Behaviorism

- Psychology, Philosophy
- 1981

This paper makes two claims: first, psychologism is true, and thus a natural behaviorist analysis of intelligence that is incompatible with psychologicism is false, and the standard arguments against behaviorism are inadequate to defeat this natural behaviorists analysis of Intelligence or to establish Psychologism.

Causation. Journal of Philosophy 70:556-67

- Maudlin, T
- 1973