Why Philosophers Should Care about Computational Complexity [chapter]

2013 Computability  
One might think that, once we know something is computable, how efficiently it can be computed is a practical question with little further philosophical importance. In this essay, I offer a detailed case that one would be wrong. In particular, I argue that computational complexity theory-the field that studies the resources (such as time, space, and randomness) needed to solve computational problems-leads to new perspectives on the nature of mathematical knowledge, the strong AI debate,
more » ... ionalism, the problem of logical omniscience, Hume's problem of induction and Goodman's grue riddle, the foundations of quantum mechanics, economic rationality, closed timelike curves, and several other topics of philosophical interest. I end by discussing aspects of complexity theory itself that could benefit from philosophical analysis. * MIT.
doi:10.7551/mitpress/8009.003.0011 fatcat:sk6y4k62xbfgdn4nytamdeq6my