On More or Less Appropriate Notions of ‘Computation’
Keywords:Notion of “computation”, pan-computationalism, hyper-computation
AbstractHalf a century after the emergence of computer science (a.k.a. informatics) as an academic discipline, the notion of “computation” is not yet “settled”. On the contrary: recent developments in the natural sciences, in mathematics, as well as in computer hardware engineering have also shaken the belief in the sufficiency of the “classical” notion of “computation” from the tradition of the Church-Turing-Hypothesis. In this paper we review the recent discourse on what is “computation”, and we clarify our own position within this discourse. Although we present some arguments about which notions of “computation” may be considered “reasonably acceptable” for our own historic era, we also emphasize that every science-philosophical notion (including the notion of “computation”) has its own long-term historical semantics which cannot be fixed once and forever. At this point in time, however, no compelling assertion can yet be made about the possibility of “hypercomputation” as proper computation.
LicenseCopyright of all work published here subsists in the authors. While SACJ retains right of first publication, subsequent re-publication is expressly permitted provided the original SACJ publication is acknowledged and cited, according to the terms detailed below. If plagiarism is detected during review, a paper may be summarily rejected and will not be accepted unless even minor infringements are corrected. Should plagiarism be detected after a paper is published, the Editor reserves the right to withdraw a paper from publication. We expect authors to be honest in representing work as their own, and to respect the time and effort our reviewers put in without an undue burden of policing plagiarism, and hence take violations seriously. SACJ applies the Creative Commons Attribution NonCommercial 4.0 License (CC BY-NC 4.0) to all papers published in this journal. Authors who publish with SACJ agree to the following:
- Authors retain copyright and grant SACJ right of first publication. The work is additionally licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License that requires others who share the work to acknowledge the work’s authorship and initial publication in SACJ. Should anyone else wish to make commercial use of the work, SACJ cedes the right to the author to negotiate terms and does not expect to be paid any royalties.
- Authors may enter into additional arrangements for non-exclusive distribution of the SACJ-published version of the work (e.g., post it to a repository or publish it in a book), with an acknowledgement of its initial publication in this journal.
- Authors are required to refrain from posting their work online prior to completion of reviews so as not to compromise double-blind reviewing or confuse plagiarism checks.