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Analog Computation and Representation

Maley, Corey J. (2020) Analog Computation and Representation. [Preprint]

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Abstract

Relative to digital computation, analog computation has been neglected in the philosophical literature. To the extent that attention has been paid to analog computation, it has been misunderstood. The received view---that analog computation has to do essentially with continuity---is simply wrong, as shown by careful attention to historical examples of discontinuous, discrete analog computers. Instead of the received view, I develop an account of analog computation in terms of a particular type of analog representation that allows for discontinuity. This account thus characterizes all types of analog computation, whether continuous or discrete. Furthermore, the structure of this account can be generalized to other types of computation: analog computation essentially involves analog representation, whereas digital computation essentially involves digital representation. Besides being a necessary component of a complete philosophical understanding of computation in general, understanding analog computation is important for computational explanation in contemporary neuroscience and cognitive science.


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Item Type: Preprint
Creators:
CreatorsEmailORCID
Maley, Corey J.cmaley@ku.edu0000-0001-6221-3181
Keywords: analog, computation, representation, cognitive science
Subjects: Specific Sciences > Cognitive Science > Computation
Specific Sciences > Computation/Information
Specific Sciences > Cognitive Science > Concepts and Representations
Depositing User: Dr. Corey Maley
Date Deposited: 01 Dec 2020 18:53
Last Modified: 11 Dec 2020 12:32
Item ID: 18473
Subjects: Specific Sciences > Cognitive Science > Computation
Specific Sciences > Computation/Information
Specific Sciences > Cognitive Science > Concepts and Representations
Date: 1 December 2020
URI: http://philsci-archive.pitt.edu/id/eprint/18473

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