Is computation observer-relative?

The 7th AISB Symposium on Computing and Philosophy will examine whether computation is observer-related. In different words, participants will discuss whether computation is a sponteneous natural phenomenon or not. I think that computation, like art, is not a natural phenomenon. Nature is not a sculpturer or a painter, and for that matter not a programmer. To animals, a sculpture is just a stone or a piece of metal and that's all. Flowers are not beautiful or ugly: they just attract bees and other insects. Mountains are not fearsome and lakes are not picturesque. Only humans give this attributes to these physical entities. Similarly, no chair and no desk computes anything. In fact, even a computer does not compute anything unless someone would be able to interpret the result of the computation. I am sure that if one could present a computer to Aristotle he could not easily realize what kind of machine it is.


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