Minds and Machines

, Volume 12, Issue 2, pp 259–280 | Cite as

Logically Possible Machines

  • Eric Steinhart


I use modal logic and transfinite set-theory to define metaphysical foundations for a general theory of computation. A possible universe is a certain kind of situation; a situation is a set of facts. An algorithm is a certain kind of inductively defined property. A machine is a series of situations that instantiates an algorithm in a certain way. There are finite as well as transfinite algorithms and machines of any degree of complexity (e.g., Turing and super-Turing machines and more). There are physically and metaphysically possible machines. There is an iterative hierarchy of logically possible machines in the iterative hierarchy of sets. Some algorithms are such that machines that instantiate them are minds. So there is an iterative hierarchy of finitely and transfinitely complex minds.

convergence fixed-point infinite algorithm infinite machine infinite mind limit possible world situation super-Turing computer 


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© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2002

Authors and Affiliations

  • Eric Steinhart
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PhilosophyWilliam Paterson UniversityWayneUSA

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