What is a Computer? A Survey

@article{Rapaport2018WhatIA,
  title={What is a Computer? A Survey},
  author={William J. Rapaport},
  journal={Minds and Machines},
  year={2018},
  volume={28},
  pages={385-426}
}
  • W. Rapaport
  • Published 25 May 2018
  • Philosophy
  • Minds and Machines
Abstract A critical survey of some attempts to define ‘computer’, beginning with some informal ones (from reference books, and definitions due to H. Simon, A.L. Samuel, and M. Davis), then critically evaluating those of three philosophers (J.R. Searle, P.J. Hayes, and G. Piccinini), and concluding with an examination of whether the brain and the universe are computers. 
Insights in how computer science can be a science
  • R. Luk
  • Education, Computer Science
  • 2020
TLDR
The insights into how computer science can be made into a science are looked at by mapping computer science scientific study to the scientific study abstracted from physics.
The halting problem and security's language-theoretic approach: Praise and criticism from a technical historian
TLDR
Christopher Strachey’s 1965 line of reasoning is scrutinized – which is widespread today – both from a charitable, historical angle and from a critical, engineering perspective for researchers pursuing a coherent science of cybersecurity.

References

SHOWING 1-10 OF 223 REFERENCES
Searle on Brains as Computers
Is the brain a digital computer? Searle says that this is meaningless; I say that it is an empirical question. Is the mind a computer program? Searle says no; I say: properly understood, yes. Can the
Computational modelling vs. Computational explanation: Is everything a Turing Machine, and does it matter to the philosophy of mind?
TLDR
It is found that although some varieties of pancomputationalism are more plausible than others, only the strongest variety is relevant to the philosophy of mind, but only the most trivial varieties are true.
What is computation?
TLDR
The successful drawing of this distinction guards Turing's 1936 analysis of computation against a difficulty that has persistently been raised against it, and undercuts various objections that have been made to the computational theory of mind.
Many Meanings of ‘Heuristic’
  • Sheldon J. Chow
  • Psychology, Business
    The British Journal for the Philosophy of Science
  • 2015
TLDR
The intent is not to pursue a unified account of ‘heuristic’, but to highlight some features of certain kinds of heuristics that are important for theorizing about cognition in order to proceed with a science of the mind/brain.
Is the Brain a Digital Computer
TLDR
The argument rests on the simple logical truth that syntax is not the same as, nor is it by itself sufficient for, semantics.
How minds can be computational systems
TLDR
The proper treatment of computationalism, as the thesis that cognition is computable, is presented and defended and his positive theory of minds as semiotic systems is shown to be consistent with computationalism.
Implementation is semantic interpretation: further thoughts
  • W. Rapaport
  • Computer Science
    J. Exp. Theor. Artif. Intell.
  • 2005
TLDR
This essay explores the implications of the thesis that implementation is semantic interpretation by presenting examples from the arts, from language, from computer science and from cognitive science, where both brains and computers can be understood as implementing a ‘mind Abstraction’.
Three Myths of Computer Science
  • J. Moor
  • Computer Science
    The British Journal for the Philosophy of Science
  • 1978
TLDR
A basic concept of computer science is discussed-the concept of a computer program-and three related distinctions ofComputer science-software vs. hardware, digital vs. analogue, and model vs. theory are discussed.
Syntactic Semantics and the Proper Treatment of Computationalism
TLDR
It follows that computationalism can be true even if (human) cognition is not the result of computations in the brain, and both humans and computers are semiotic systems.
What is Computer Science About
then the relevant individuative relations are the formal relations among abstract objects. After that, if the observers wish, they can provide a formal description of the (set-theoretic) relations
...
...