[FOM] Davis's reply to Ord re hypercomputation

Roger Bishop Jones rbj01 at rbjones.com
Fri Mar 12 14:34:25 EST 2004

On Friday 12 March 2004  2:35 pm, Neil Tennant wrote:
> On Thu, 11 Mar 2004, Martin Davis wrote:
> > because we can not expect to
> > observe more than finitely many outputs, assuring  ourselves
> > that an alleged "hypercomputer" really is one, would be in
> > the nature of things fraught with difficulty.
> "Fraught with difficulty" might be something of an
> understatement here. Why not rather say that the truth in such
> a matter, if it obtains, must be knowable? So, if a
> proposition of the form "This device is a hypercomputer" is
> not knowable (i.e. knowably true), then there is NO FACT OF
> THE MATTER as to whether the device in question is a
> hypercomputer.

No less "knowable" than any other empirical generalisation.

If we can know the truth of the special theory of relativity,
then we could know the truth of a claim that some object
is a hypercomputer.

This is not a claim that would fail even fairly stringent
empiricist criteria for meaningfulness.
It is for example, easy to see how it might be falsified.

Roger Jones

- rbj01 at rbjones.com
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