Non-Turing Computers and Non-Turing Computability |
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Hogarth (Mark) |

Source: PSA: Proceedings of the Biennial Meeting of the Philosophy of Science Association, Vol. 1994, Volume One: Contributed Papers (1994), pp. 126-138 |

Paper - Abstract |

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__Concluding Dialogue__

**Frank**who works on the theory of computability by means of Turing machines, reckons these new computers are not worth the candle.**Isabel**disagrees.**Frank**: I like the idea of these non-Turing computers, but frankly I can't see them catching on. They're just too, well, fantastic.**Isabel**: Surely a Turing machine is fantastic. At least, an infinitely massive device capable of computing to eternity sounds pretty fantastic to me.**Frank**: Well that's one way of putting it. I prefer to think of a Turing machine as just the natural extension of an everyday computer.**Isabel**: In a way it is. And that's why the hardware of these new computers is chosen to be essentially nothing but Turing machines. A simple SAD1 computer, for example, is just a Turing machine to the past of a point. Or in more picturesque terms, it's a naked Turing machine.**Frank**: Yes, O.K., when I said the non-Turing computers are fantastic I didn't mean the hardware so much as the spacetime supporting the hardware. Of course I believe in Turing machines; that's my job! No, my unease stems from the wild spacetimes you employ.

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