On Computing Systems and Their Environment

  • Georg Schwarz


Analysis of the relation between representation and reality depends on the kind of representation under investigation. Computing systems taken by themselves can always be interpreted as computing more than just one function. The most popular response to the problem of multiple inter-pretability attempts to anchor a system’s content in its environment. While this approach would reinforce a number of pretheoretic intuitions about the nature of mental representation, it presupposes that the computed function is defined over a system’s environment. The main tenant of this paper is to argue that this assumption is false. Instead, the computed function may turn out to be defined over states of the computing system itself.


Radio Transmitter Compute Function Input Device Output Device Output Category 
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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic/Plenum Publishers 1999

Authors and Affiliations

  • Georg Schwarz
    • 1
  1. 1.Dept. of PhilosophyUniv. of CaliforniaSan Diego

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