Virtual Machines: Nonreductionist Bridges Between the Functional and the Physical

  • Matthias ScheutzEmail author
Part of the Cognitive Systems Monographs book series (COSMOS, volume 22)


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.


Virtual Machine Functional Unit Body Problem Mental Property Output Channel 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



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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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Computer ScienceTufts UniversityMedfordUSA

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