A Mechanistic Account
Author: Gualtiero Piccinini
Publisher: OUP Oxford
Gualtiero Piccinini articulates and defends a mechanistic account of concrete, or physical, computation. A physical system is a computing system just in case it is a mechanism one of whose functions is to manipulate vehicles based solely on differences between different portions of the vehicles according to a rule defined over the vehicles. Physical Computation discusses previous accounts of computation and argues that the mechanistic account is better. Many kinds of computation are explicated, such as digital vs. analog, serial vs. parallel, neural network computation, program-controlled computation, and more. Piccinini argues that computation does not entail representation or information processing although information processing entails computation. Pancomputationalism, according to which every physical system is computational, is rejected. A modest version of the physical Church-Turing thesis, according to which any function that is physically computable is computable by Turing machines, is defended.
Author: Marcin Miłkowski
Publisher: MIT Press
In this book, Marcin Milkowski argues that the mind can be explained computationally because it is itself computational -- whether it engages in mental arithmetic, parses natural language, or processes the auditory signals that allow us to experience music. Defending the computational explanation against objections to it -- from John Searle and Hilary Putnam in particular -- Milkowski writes that computationalism is here to stay but is not what many have taken it to be. It does not, for example, rely on a Cartesian gulf between software and hardware, or mind and brain. Milkowski's mechanistic construal of computation allows him to show that no purely computational explanation of a physical process will ever be complete. Computationalism is only plausible, he argues, if you also accept explanatory pluralism. Milkowski sketches a mechanistic theory of implementation of computation against a background of extant conceptions, describing four dissimilar computational models of cognition. He reviews other philosophical accounts of implementation and computational explanation and defends a notion of representation that is compatible with his mechanistic account and adequate vis à vis the four models discussed earlier. Instead of arguing that there is no computation without representation, he inverts the slogan and shows that there is no representation without computation -- but explains that representation goes beyond purely computational considerations. Milkowski's arguments succeed in vindicating computational explanation in a novel way by relying on mechanistic theory of science and interventionist theory of causation.
Author: Michael E. Cuffaro,Samuel C. Fletcher
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Although computation and the science of physical systems would appear to be unrelated, there are a number of ways in which computational and physical concepts can be brought together in ways that illuminate both. This volume examines fundamental questions which connect scholars from both disciplines: is the universe a computer? Can a universal computing machine simulate every physical process? What is the source of the computational power of quantum computers? Are computational approaches to solving physical problems and paradoxes always fruitful? Contributors from multiple perspectives reflecting the diversity of thought regarding these interconnections address many of the most important developments and debates within this exciting area of research. Both a reference to the state of the art and a valuable and accessible entry to interdisciplinary work, the volume will interest researchers and students working in physics, computer science, and philosophy of science and mathematics.
Author: Nir Fresco
Publisher: Springer Science & Business Media
This book presents a study of digital computation in contemporary cognitive science. Digital computation is a highly ambiguous concept, as there is no common core definition for it in cognitive science. Since this concept plays a central role in cognitive theory, an adequate cognitive explanation requires an explicit account of digital computation. More specifically, it requires an account of how digital computation is implemented in physical systems. The main challenge is to deliver an account encompassing the multiple types of existing models of computation without ending up in pancomputationalism, that is, the view that every physical system is a digital computing system. This book shows that only two accounts, among the ones examined by the author, are adequate for explaining physical computation. One of them is the instructional information processing account, which is developed here for the first time. "This book provides a thorough and timely analysis of differing accounts of computation while advancing the important role that information plays in understanding computation. Fresco’s two-pronged approach will appeal to philosophically inclined computer scientists who want to better understand common theoretical claims in cognitive science.” Marty J. Wolf, Professor of Computer Science, Bemidji State University “An original and admirably clear discussion of central issues in the foundations of contemporary cognitive science.” Frances Egan, Professor of Philosophy, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey
How Mechanistic Mathematical Modeling Can Improve Cancer Therapy Outcomes
Author: Vittorio Cristini,Eugene Koay,Zhihui Wang
Publisher: CRC Press
Physical oncology has the potential to revolutionize cancer research and treatment. The fundamental rationale behind this approach is that physical processes, such as transport mechanisms for drug molecules within tissue and forces exchanged by cancer cells with tissue, may play an equally important role as biological processes in influencing progression and treatment outcome. This book introduces the emerging field of physical oncology to a general audience, with a focus on recent breakthroughs that help in the design and discovery of more effective cancer treatments. It describes how novel mathematical models of physical transport processes incorporate patient tissue and imaging data routinely produced in the clinic to predict the efficacy of many cancer treatment approaches, including chemotherapy and radiation therapy. By helping to identify which therapies would be most beneficial for an individual patient, and quantifying their effects prior to actual implementation in the clinic, physical oncology allows doctors to design treatment regimens customized to each patient’s clinical needs, significantly altering the current clinical approach to cancer treatment and improving the outcomes for patients.
Essays on Scientific and Philosophical Understanding of Foundations of Information and Computation
Author: Gordana Dodig Crnkovic,Mark Burgin
Publisher: World Scientific
This volume provides a cutting-edge view of the world's leading authorities in fields where information and computation play a central role.
A Parallel Distributed Processing Approach
Author: Timothy T. Rogers,James L. McClelland
Publisher: MIT Press
A mechanistic theory of the representation and use of semantic knowledge that uses distributed connectionist networks as a starting point for a psychological theory of semantic cognition.
A Dynamical Systems Approach to the Large Scale Ocean Circulation and El Niño,
Author: Henk A. Dijkstra
Publisher: Springer Science & Business Media
Taken from a review of the first edition in SIAM: "This text is different from most others in that it combines several different disciplines and draws on many scientific studies in order to deduce mechanisms of ocean circulation. (...) Therefore (it) cannot be substituted, and (...) it meets its unique goals with clarity and thoroughness".
Fusing the Physical and the Computational
Publisher: John Wiley & Sons
Material Synthesis: Fusing the Physical and the Computational Guest-edited by Achim Menges A new understanding of the material in architecture is fast emerging. Designers are no longer conceiving of the digital realm as separate from the physical world. Instead computation is being regarded as the key interface for material exploration and vice versa. This represents a significant perceptual shift in which the materiality of architecture is no longer seen to be a fixed property and passive receptor of form, but is transformed into an active generator of design and an adaptive agent of architectural performance. In stark contrast to previous linear and mechanistic modes of fabrication and construction, materialisation is now beginning to coexist with design as explorative robotic processes. This represents a radical departure from both the trite modernist emphasis on 'truth to materials' and the dismissal of materials by the previous generation of digital architects. The issue features designers, researchers and thinkers that are at the forefront of exploring new modes of material enquiry and its deep interrelationship with technology, biology and culture. Through their work, which unfolds from multifaceted alliances between the fields of design, engineering and natural sciences, it seeks to trace the emergence of a novel material culture in architecture. Architectural and engineering contributors include: Sean Ahlquist, Martin Bechthold, Philippe Block, Karola Dierichs, Jan Knippers, Achim Menges, Neri Oxman, Steffen Reichert and Tobias Schwinn. Scientific and philosophical perspectives provided by: Mario Carpo, Manuel De Landa, Neil Gershenfeld and Thomas Speck. Features the design research of: Harvard's Material Processes and Systems Group, MIT's Mediated Matter Group and Stuttgart University's Institute for Computational Design.
A Conceptual and Computational Approach
Author: Rutger A. van Santen,Matthew Neurock
Publisher: John Wiley & Sons
An integrated approach to the molecular theory of reaction mechanism in heterogeneous catalysis, largely based on the knowledge among the growing theoretical catalysis community over the past half century, and covering all major catalytic systems. The authors develop a general conceptual framework, including in-depth comparisons with enzyme catalysis, biomineralisation, organometallic and coordination chemistry. A chapter dedicated to molecular electrocatalysis addresses the molecular description of reactions at the liquid-solid interphase, while studies range from a quantum-chemical treatment of individual molecular states to dynamic Monte-Carlo simulations, including the full flexibility of the many-particle systems. Complexity in catalysis is explained in chapters on self-organization and self-assembly of catalysts, and other sections are devoted to evolutionary, combinatorial techniques as well as artificial chemistry.
Theory, Computation and Experiment
Author: Wolfgang Domcke,David Yarkony
Publisher: World Scientific
The concept of adiabatic electronic potential-energy surfaces, defined by the Born–Oppenheimer approximation, is fundamental to our thinking about chemical processes. Recent computational as well as experimental studies have produced ample evidence that the so-called conical intersections of electronic energy surfaces, predicted by von Neumann and Wigner in 1929, are the rule rather than the exception in polyatomic molecules. It is nowadays increasingly recognized that conical intersections play a key mechanistic role in chemical reaction dynamics. This volume provides an up-to-date overview of the multi-faceted research on the role of conical intersections in photochemistry and photobiology, including basic theoretical concepts, novel computational strategies as well as innovative experiments. The contents and discussions will be of value to advanced students and researchers in photochemistry, molecular spectroscopy and related areas.
What the Science of Working Memory Shows Us about the Nature of Human Thought
Author: Peter Carruthers
Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
The Centered Mind offers a new view of the nature and causal determinants of both reflective thinking and, more generally, the stream of consciousness. Peter Carruthers argues that conscious thought is always sensory-based, relying on the resources of the working-memory system. This system enables sensory images to be sustained and manipulated through attentional signals directed at midlevel sensory areas of the brain. When abstract conceptualrepresentations are bound into these images, we consciously experience ourselves as making judgments or arriving at decisions. However, our amodal (non-sensory) propositional attitudes are never actually among thecontents of this stream of conscious reflection. Our beliefs, goals, and decisions are only ever active in the background of consciousness, working behind the scenes. They are never themselves conscious.Drawing on extensive knowledge of the scientific literature on working memory and related topics, Carruthers challenges the central assumptions of many philosophers. In addition to arguing that non-sensory propositional attitudes are never conscious, he also shows that theyare never under direct intentional control. Written with his usual clarity and directness, The Centered Mind will be essential reading for all philosophers and cognitive scientists interested in thenature of human thought processes.
Basic Minds Meet Content
Author: Daniel D. Hutto,Erik Myin
Publisher: MIT Press
Evolving Enactivism argues that cognitive phenomena -- perceiving, imagining, remembering -- can be best explained in terms of an interface between contentless and content-involving forms of cognition. Building on their earlier book Radicalizing Enactivism, which proposes that there can be forms of cognition without content, Daniel Hutto and Erik Myin demonstrate the unique explanatory advantages of recognizing that only some forms of cognition have content while others -- the most elementary ones -- do not. They offer an account of the mind in duplex terms, proposing a complex vision of mentality in which these basic contentless forms of cognition interact with content-involving ones. Hutto and Myin argue that the most basic forms of cognition do not, contrary to a currently popular account of cognition, involve picking up and processing information that is then used, reused, stored, and represented in the brain. Rather, basic cognition is contentless -- fundamentally interactive, dynamic, and relational. In advancing the case for a radically enactive account of cognition, Hutto and Myin propose crucial adjustments to our concept of cognition and offer theoretical support for their revolutionary rethinking, emphasizing its capacity to explain basic minds in naturalistic terms. They demonstrate the explanatory power of the duplex vision of cognition, showing how it offers powerful means for understanding quintessential cognitive phenomena without introducing scientifically intractable mysteries into the mix.
A Decision-Based Guide to Organic Mechanisms
Author: Paul H. Scudder
Publisher: John Wiley & Sons
Sets forth the analytical tools needed to solve key problems in organic chemistry With its acclaimed decision-based approach, Electron Flow in Organic Chemistry enables readers to develop the essential critical thinking skills needed to analyze and solve problems in organic chemistry, from the simple to complex. The author breaks down common mechanistic organic processes into their basic units to explain the core electron flow pathways that underlie these processes. Moreover, the text stresses the use of analytical tools such as flow charts, correlation matrices, and energy surfaces to enable readers new to organic chemistry to grasp the fundamentals at a much deeper level. This Second Edition of Electron Flow in Organic Chemistry has been thoroughly revised, reorganized, and streamlined in response to feedback from both students and instructors. Readers will find more flowcharts, correlation matrices, and algorithms that illustrate key decision-making processes step by step. There are new examples from the field of biochemistry, making the text more relevant to a broader range of readers in chemistry, biology, and medicine. This edition also offers three new chapters: Proton transfer and the principles of stability Important reaction archetypes Qualitative molecular orbital theory and pericyclic reactions The text's appendix features a variety of helpful tools, including a general bibliography, quick-reference charts and tables, pathway summaries, and a major decisions guide. With its emphasis on logical processes rather than memorization to solve mechanistic problems, this text gives readers a solid foundation to approach and solve any problem in organic chemistry.
Complexity, Time, and the Metaphysics of Embodied Thought
Author: Christopher Mole
The relationship between intelligent systems and their environment is at the forefront of research in cognitive science. The Unexplained Intellect: Complexity, Time, and the Metaphysics of Embodied Thought shows how computational complexity theory and analytic metaphysics can together illuminate long-standing questions about the importance of that relationship. It argues that the most basic facts about a mind cannot just be facts about mental states, but must include facts about the dynamic, interactive mental occurrences that take place when a creature encounters its environment. In a discussion that is organised into four clear parts, Christopher Mole begins by examining the mathematics of computational complexity, arguing that the results from complexity theory create a puzzle about how human intelligence could possibly be explained. Mole then uses the tools of analytic metaphysics to draw a distinction between mental states and dynamic mental entities, and shows that, in order to answer the complexity-theoretic puzzle, dynamic entities must be understood to be among the most basic of mental phenomena. The picture of the mind that emerges has important implications for our understanding of intelligence, of action, and of the mind’s relationship to the passage of time. The Unexplained Intellect is the first book to bring insights from the mathematics of computational complexity to bear in an enquiry into the metaphysics of the mind. It will be essential reading for scholars and researchers in the philosophy of mind and psychology, for cognitive scientists, and for those interested in the philosophical importance of complexity.
A View from the 21st Century
Author: James Alan Shapiro
Publisher: Pearson Education
James A. Shapiro proposes an important new paradigm for understanding biological evolution, the core organizing principle of biology. Shapiro introduces crucial new molecular evidence that tests the conventional scientific view of evolution based on the neo-Darwinian synthesis, shows why this view is inadequate to today's evidence, and presents a compelling alternative view of the evolutionary process that reflects the shift in life sciences towards a more information- and systems-based approach in Evolution: A View from the 21st Century. Shapiro integrates advances in symbiogenesis, epigenetics, and saltationism into a unified approach that views evolutionary change as an active cell process, regulated epigenetically and capable of making rapid large changes by horizontal DNA transfer, inter-specific hybridization, whole genome doubling, symbiogenesis, or massive genome restructuring. Evolution marshals extensive evidence in support of a fundamental reinterpretation of evolutionary processes, including more than 1,100 references to the scientific literature. Shapiro's work will generate extensive discussion throughout the biological community, and may significantly change your own thinking about how life has evolved. It also has major implications for evolutionary computation, information science, and the growing synthesis of the physical and biological sciences.
Rationality, Identity, and Time
Author: Brian Hedden
Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
Category: Identity (Philosophical concept)
Brian Hedden defends a radical view about the relationship between rationality, personal identity, and time. On the standard view, personal identity over time plays a central role in thinking about rationality, because there are rational norms for how a person's attitudes and actions at one time should fit with her attitudes and actions at other times. But these norms are problematic. They make what you rationally ought to believe or do depend on facts about yourpast that aren't part of your current perspective on the world, and they make rationality depend on controversial, murky metaphysical facts about what binds different instantaneous snapshots (or'time-slices') into a single person extended in time. Hedden takes a different approach, treating the relationship between different time-slices of the same person as no different from the relationship between different people. On his account, the locus of rationality is the time-slice rather than the temporally extended agent. This impersonal, time-slice-centric approach to rationality yields a unified approach to the rationality of beliefs, preferences, and actions where what rationalitydemands of you is solely determined by your evidence, with no special weight given to your past beliefs or actions.
Author: Benjamin Eidelson
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Hardly anyone disputes that discrimination can be a grave moral wrong. Yet this consensus masks fundamental disagreements about what makes something discrimination, as well as precisely why (and hence when) acts of discrimination are wrong. Benjamin Eidelson develops systematic answers to those two questions. He claims that discrimination is a form of differential treatment distinguished by its special connection to the differential ascription of some property todifferent people, and goes on to argue that what makes some cases of discrimination intrinsically wrongful is that they manifest an attitude of disrespect for the personhood of those who aredisfavored. He endeavors to specify what this attitude consists in, and to demonstrate how attending to its character can help us to better understand the moral dimensions of different forms of wrongful discrimination. The book concludes with an extended discussion of racial profiling in law enforcement.
Mechanisms and the Mosaic Unity of Neuroscience
Author: Carl F. Craver
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Carl Craver investigates what we are doing when we use neuroscience to explain what>'s going on in the brain. When does an explanation succeed and when does it fail? Craver offers explicit standards for successful explanation of the workings of the brain, on the basis of a systematic view about what neuroscientific explanations are: they are descriptions of mechanisms.
Mathematical Modeling of Mental Illness
Author: Alan Anticevic,John D Murray
Publisher: Academic Press
Computational Psychiatry: Mathematical Modeling of Mental Illness is the first systematic effort to bring together leading scholars in the fields of psychiatry and computational neuroscience who have conducted the most impactful research and scholarship in this area. It includes an introduction outlining the challenges and opportunities facing the field of psychiatry that is followed by a detailed treatment of computational methods used in the service of understanding neuropsychiatric symptoms, improving diagnosis and guiding treatments. This book provides a vital resource for the clinical neuroscience community with an in-depth treatment of various computational neuroscience approaches geared towards understanding psychiatric phenomena. Its most valuable feature is a comprehensive survey of work from leaders in this field. Offers an in-depth overview of the rapidly evolving field of computational psychiatry Written for academics, researchers, advanced students and clinicians in the fields of computational neuroscience, clinical neuroscience, psychiatry, clinical psychology, neurology and cognitive neuroscience Provides a comprehensive survey of work from leaders in this field and a presentation of a range of computational psychiatry methods and approaches geared towards a broad array of psychiatric problems