Epistemic Computation and Artificial Intelligence

  • Jiří WiedermannEmail author
  • Jan van LeeuwenEmail author
Conference paper
Part of the Studies in Applied Philosophy, Epistemology and Rational Ethics book series (SAPERE, volume 44)


AI research is continually challenged to explain cognitive processes as being computational. Whereas existing notions of computing seem to have their limits for it, we contend that the recent, epistemic approach to computations may hold the key to understanding cognition from this perspective. In this approach, computations are seen as processes generating knowledge over a suitable knowledge domain, within the framework of a suitable knowledge theory. This, machine-independent, understanding of computation allows us to explain a variety of higher cognitive functions such as accountability, self-awareness, introspection, free will, creativity, anticipation and curiosity in computational terms. It also opens the way to understanding the self-improving mechanisms behind the development of intelligence. The argumentation does not depend on any technological analogies.


Epistemic Computation Epistemic Approach Higher Cognitive Functions Epistemic Theory Wiedermann 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



The authors thank Jodi Guazzini and Aaron Sloman for comments and suggestions that greatly helped to improve the manuscript.


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute of Computer Science of AS CRPragueCzech Republic
  2. 2.Department of Information and Computing SciencesUtrecht UniversityUtrechtThe Netherlands

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