Publication 3630

Mossio M., Longo G. & Stewart J. (2009) A computable expression of closure to efficient causation. Journal of Theoretical Biology 257(3): 489–498. Fulltext at
In this paper, we propose a mathematical expression of closure to efficient causation in terms of λ-calculus, we argue that this opens up the perspective of developing principled computer simulations of systems closed to efficient causation in an appropriate programming language. An important implication of our formulation is that, by exhibiting an expression in λ-calculus, which is a paradigmatic formalism for computability and programming, we show that there are no conceptual or principled problems in realizing a computer simulation or model of closure to efficient causation. We conclude with a brief discussion of the question whether closure to efficient causation captures all relevant properties of living systems. We suggest that it might not be the case, and that more complex definitions could indeed create crucial some obstacles to computability.


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