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Against Computational Perspectivalism

Computational perspectivalism has been recently proposed as an alternative to mainstream accounts of physical computation, and especially to the teleologically-based mechanistic view. It takes physical computation to be partly dependent on explanatory perspectives and eschews appeal to teleology in helping individuate computational systems. I assess several varieties of computational perspectivalism, showing that they either collapse into existing non-perspectival views or end up with unsatisfactory or implausible accounts of physical computation. Computational perspectivalism fails, therefore, to be a compelling alternative to perspective-independent theories of computation in physical systems. I conclude that a teleologically-based, non-perspectival mechanistic account of physical computation is to be preferred.