Virtual Machines: Nonreductionist Bridges Between the Functional and the Physical
Various notions of supervenience have been proposed as a solution to the “mind–body problem” to account for the dependence of mental states on their realizing physical states. In this chapter, we view the mind–body problem as an instance of the more general problem of how a virtual machine (VM) can be implemented in other virtual or physical machines. We propose a formal framework for defining virtual machine architectures and how they are composed of interacting functional units. The aim is to define a rich notion of implementation that can ultimately show how virtual machines defined in different ontologies can be related by way of implementing one virtual machine in another virtual (or physical) machine without requiring that the ontology in which the implemented VM is defined to be reducible to the ontology of the implementing VM.
KeywordsVirtual Machine Functional Unit Body Problem Mental Property Output Channel
This paper would not have been possible without the many discussions with Aaron Sloman the author was fortunate to have over the years, although Aaron is by no means to blame for any errors or potential problems with the specific content.
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