Computational physical systems may exhibit indeterminacy of computation (IC). Their identified physical dynamics may not suffice to select a unique computational profile. We consider this phenomenon from the point of view of cognitive science and examine how computational profiles of cognitive systems are identified and justified in practice, in the light of IC. To that end, we look at the literature on the underdetermination of theory by evidence and argue that the same devices that can be successfully employed to confirm physical hypotheses can also be used to rationally single out computational profiles, notwithstanding IC.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This research was supported by the Israel Science Foundation Grant (830/18).
We thank Jack Copeland for useful discussions on the topic of this article. We are also thankful to several edanonymous referees for constructive comments and suggestions. Earlier versions of this article were presented at the HAPOC5 meeting in Bergamo and at the Indeterminacy and Underdetermination Workshop at the University College, Dublin. We would like to thank the audiences of both events.
© 2022, The Author(s).
- Computational explanations
- Computational individuation
- Indeterminacy of computation
- Underdetermination of theory by evidence