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: 02 December 2021



(p.51) 4 Pancomputationalism
Physical Computation

Gualtiero Piccinini

Oxford University Press

According to pancomputationalism, everything is a computing system. Alleged sources of pancomputationalism are listed. This chapter distinguishes between different varieties of pancomputationalism and discusses arguments for the different varieties. Versions of ontic pancomputationalism, according to which the Universe is a computing system, are described in relation to platonism and Pythagoreanism, and are rejected. A more explicit and precise taxonomy of legitimate senses in which something may be described computationally is provided. This chapter finds that although some varieties are more plausible than others, only the most trivial and uninteresting varieties are true. As a side effect of this exercise, the chapter sharpens the distinction between computational modeling and computational explanation.

Keywords:   pancomputationalism, computational modeling, computational explanation, cellular automata, Platonism, Pythagoreanism

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 .