•  17
    Virtual Machines and Real Implementations
    Minds and Machines 28 (3): 465-489. 2018.
    What does it take to implement a computer? Answers to this question have often focused on what it takes for a physical system to implement an abstract machine. As Joslin observes, this approach neglects cases of software implementation—cases where one machine implements another by running a program. These cases, Joslin argues, highlight serious problems for mapping accounts of computer implementation—accounts that require a mapping between elements of a physical system and elements of an abstrac…Read more
  •  86
    A Simplicity Criterion for Physical Computation
    British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 70 (1): 153-178. 2019.
    The aim of this paper is to offer a formal criterion for physical computation that allows us to objectively distinguish between competing computational interpretations of a physical system. The criterion construes a computational interpretation as an ordered pair of functions mapping (1) states of a physical system to states of an abstract machine, and (2) inputs to this machine to interventions in this physical system. This interpretation must ensure that counterfactuals true of the abstract ma…Read more