Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Physical ComputationA Mechanistic Account$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Gualtiero Piccinini

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780199658855

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: August 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199658855.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 09 December 2021

The Bold Physical Church-Turing Thesis

The Bold Physical Church-Turing Thesis

Chapter:
(p.244) 15 The Bold Physical Church-Turing Thesis
Source:
Physical Computation
Author(s):

Gualtiero Piccinini

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199658855.003.0016

This chapter distinguishes between the Mathematical Church-Turing thesis—the thesis supported by the original arguments for the Church-Turing thesis—and the Physical Church-Turing thesis (Physical CT). It then distinguishes between bold formulations of Physical CT, according to which any physical process—anything doable by a physical system—is computable by a Turing machine, and modest formulations, according to which any function that is computable by a physical system is computable by a Turing machine. It explicates the notion of physical computability in terms of a usability constraint, according to which for a process to count as relevant to Physical CT, it must be usable by a finite observer to obtain the desired values of a function. Finally, it argues that Bold Physical CT is not relevant to the epistemological concerns that motivate CT and hence not suitable as a physical analogue of Mathematical CT.

Keywords:   mathematical Church-Turing thesis, physical Church-Turing thesis, usability, Turing-computability

Oxford Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us .