A revised attack on computational ontology

Nir Fresco, Phillip J. Staines

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


There has been an ongoing conflict regarding whether reality is fundamentally digital or analogue. Recently, Floridi has argued that this dichotomy is misapplied. For any attempt to analyse noumenal reality independently of any level of abstraction at which the analysis is conducted is mistaken. In the pars destruens of this paper, we argue that Floridi does not establish that it is only levels of abstraction that are analogue or digital, rather than noumenal reality. In the pars construens of this paper, we reject a classification of noumenal reality as a deterministic discrete computational system. We show, based on considerations from classical physics, why a deterministic computational view of the universe faces problems (e.g., a reversible computational universe cannot be strictly deterministic).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)101-122
Number of pages22
JournalMinds and Machines
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • Deterministic
  • Digital
  • Digital computation
  • Digital ontology
  • Discrete
  • Entropy
  • Levels of abstraction
  • Reversible computation

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Philosophy
  • Artificial Intelligence


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