0. The term real computationalism — which includes aspects of unconventional computationalism — is meant to suggest a computationalism [CompPhys] based on the practical approach — software and hardware production, “pragmatic” programming language theory (PLT), “unconventional” as well as “unconventional” computing, especially synthetic biology based computing, use of novel materials — rather than the completely theoretical (or pure) approach.
(From the perspective of mathematical fictionalism [MathFict] — where there are no such things as mathematical objects — if computation is considered to be a branch of pure mathematics, then computationalism is false.)
0.1. PTLOS configurations
A configuration PTLOS(π,λ,τ,ο,Σ) — lower case Greek letters π, λ, τ, ο, and capital Greek letter Σ are variables that take on concrete (particular) values — is defined:
PLTOS(π,λ,τ,ο,Σ) designates a program π that is written in a language λ that is transformed via a compiler/assembler τ into an output object ο that executes in a computing substrate Σ.
0.2. “Material PLTOS Thesis”:
Every material (alt.
physical) phenomenon can be effectively represented by some PLTOS(π,λ,τ,ο,Σ).
In PLTOS, numbers are not the “basic” substrate; materialities (via phenomenological philosophy) are.
0.3. τ⁻¹ is a decompiler/disassembler: it takes an object ο and produces a program π,in some language λ.
0.4. π could consist of a collection of programs (a codebase) in different languages λs.
1. Σ = von Neumann / Turing
1.1. For example, π could be a general relativity program written in λ = SageManifolds/Python 3 and compiled by τ = Python 3.5.6 for Linux/UNIX into* ο = machine language code object for Σ = Ubuntu 18.04/ASUS VivoBook. PLTOS(π,λ,τ,ο,Σ) then identifies this particular PLTOS.
* (in the case of Python, τ compiles π into an ο = [bytecode+interpreter] object)
In the PLTOS(π,λ,τ,ο,Σ) example above, “effectively representative” means that it matches data from observations.
2. Σ = non von Neumann / Turing
2.1. “Turing equivalence” (an equivalence relation on programs) basically translates into “It doesn’t matter what Σ is”. But particulars do matter in the efficiency of what programs are transformed into. Different hardware (a different Σs), e.g. replacing CPUs with GPUs, is used for virtual/augmented reality applications. Hardware compilers (a τ compiles a π into an ο such as neural-network reconfigurable hardware, ASIC, FPGA, basically makes Σ = ο. (The output object is its own computing substrate.)
3. Σ = unbounded/interactive
e.g., the internet as type of super-Turing? substrate
Computation Beyond Turing Machines
Peter Wegner, Dina Goldin
[WegnerGoldin], cf. [BeyondTuring]
it is possible to derive super-Turing models from:
– interaction with the world;
– infinity of resources;
– evolution of the system.
Interactive foundations of computing
Persistent Turing Machines as a Model of Interactive Computation
Refuting the Strong Church-Turing Thesis: the Interactive Nature of Computing
Dina Goldin and Peter Wegner
The Turing machine model extended with interaction
4. Σ = human
The human biocomputer
5. Σ = natural
5.1. slime molds
Computing with slime: Logical circuits built using living slime molds
6. Σ = synthetic biological
6.1. τ is a biocompiler / biomolecular assembler (from the developing field of synthetic biology).
Example: A biochemical molecular program (π) written in a synthetic-biological language (λ) that is biocompiled (τ) into a life form (ο) that is injected into a person (Σ) to cure a disease.
If ο is effective (n carrying out its programmed task of attacking the disease), this PLTOS is an effective representative of a life form. (In fact the representation is the life form itself.)
6.2 But is biocomputation > computation (the latter defined conventionally)?
[RM] below will refer to
(Why Physicalism* Entails Panpsychism)
(* or Materialism)
Is there an ‘ultimate’ – “a fundamental physical entity, an ultimate constituent of reality, [like] a particle, field, string, brane, simple, whatever” [RM] that is “experience” in addition to “information” (which is what conventional computation manipulates)?
“Real physicalists must accept that at least some ultimates are intrinsically experience involving. They must at least embrace micropsychism. Given that everything concrete is physical, and that everything physical is constituted out of physical ultimates, and that experience is part of concrete reality, it seems the only reasonable position, more than just an ‘inference to the best explanation’. Which is not to say that it is easy to accept in the current intellectual climate.” [RM]
For output objects ο of biocompilers, this means ο has experientiality ( e ) in addition to informationality ( i ). Programs with e-states (in addition to i-states) in their language need a biocompiler to be effective.
[ On e-state languages, see 6.5.]
(Buddhists seem to talk about such things.)
6.3. Philip Goff [@Philip_Goff] on panpsychism
6.3.1. If experientiality is a property of matter, then the scientific language of matter needs to be expanded to include it.
6.3.2. Matter is not the problem. It is a language of matter not including experientiality that is the problem.
The incompleteness of physics/physicalism argument: i-states are insufficient, and the reality of consciousness (material experientiality (implies e-states), but maintain that means materialism > physicalism, cf. [MatPhys].
6.4. i-states, e-states
i-states are purely informational states (just information – numbers, etc.); e-states are experiential states (which [RM, RM-2017] posits).
physicalism = i-states (only)
materialism = i-states + e-states (a non-physicalist, nonreductive materialism)
Physicalism, based on pure informationality (quantitative states and language} is not sufficient to explain consciousness, but a materialism (one greater than physicalism) that is based on experientiality (qualitative states and language, experiential modalities) in addition to informationality, may be.
6.5. Modal logic historically covers modalities such as possibility/necessity, belief, time, morality, knowledge [ML1], but also intentions [Intent] and self-reference [SR1],[SR2],[SR3].
A programming language including experiential modalities (experiential modal logic, experiential modal operators or qualifiers) is needed to extend the picture we have of matter to include consciousness.
Modal logic programming [MPL1][MLP2][MLP3][MPL4}[MPL5].
A compiler τ (presumably a biocompiler [BioComp]) would produce a conscious agent ο executing in some substate Σ. The part of ο not implementing the experiential modalities of λ minus the part implementing its “bodily housekeeping” would be its subconscious.
“The Experientiality of Matter” [ExMat]
Selves: An Essay in Revisionary Metaphysics
The Subject of Experience
[Supplement here (on modal logics for conscious agents)]
conscious agent program → conscious agent (object)
what stores, transmits, executes information
what substrates, constitutes, reflects experience
Consciousness Isn’t a Mystery. It’s Matter. [nytStraw]
(But therein replace “physical” with “material”. [matphys])
When we look at what physics tells us about the brain, we actually just find software—purely a set of relations—all the way down. And consciousness is in fact more like hardware, because of its distinctly qualitative, non-structural properties. For this reason, conscious experiences are just the kind of things that physical structure could be the structure of.
Given this solution to the hard problem of matter, the hard problem of consciousness all but dissolves. There is no longer any question of how consciousness arises from non-conscious matter, because all matter is intrinsically conscious. There is no longer a question of how consciousness depends on matter, because it is matter that depends on consciousness—as relations depend on relata, structure depends on realizer, or software on hardware.
The late Turing scholar S. Barry Cooper:
The intuition is that computational unconventionality certainly entails higher-type computation, with a correspondingly enhanced respect for embodied information. There is some understanding of the algorithmic content of descriptions. But so far we have merely scratched the surface.*
Here I would add modal to higher-type, and assert that experience processing is unconventional (but non-Turing in that it is not substrate independent) computing.
* What Makes a Computation Unconventional? or, there is no such thing as Non Turing Computation
S. Barry Cooper [Cooper1]
cf. Incomputability In Nature
S. Barry Cooper [Cooper2]
To what extent is incomputability relevant to the material Universe? We look at ways in which this question might be answered, and the extent to which the theory of computability, which grew out of the work of Godel, Church, Kleene and Turing, can contribute to a clear resolution of the current confusion.
7. Σ = Immaterial (numerical) reality
The Origin of Physical Laws and Sensations
The Universal Numbers. From Biology to Physics
The East, the West and the Universal Machine’s Corpus Callosum
A Purely Arithmetical, yet Empirically Falsifiable, Interpretation of Plotinus’ Theory of Matter
But what is the compiler/transformer, T?