João de Fernandes Teixeira2

This paper is rather exploratory in intent. Its aim is to present a few conjectures posed by the following questions: To what extent are our current conceptions of computation relative to given frameworks and their underlying logic? Can the adoption of non-classical logic affect orthodox notions of computation? The standard theory of computation emerged in the thirties when classical logic could be taken as an absolute presumption for the formulation of mathematical theories. But what happens once we abandon such an assumption? The most striking result emerging from the rejection of classical logic as an absolutist paradigm, I submit, is the possibility of devising alternatives to the Halting Theorem. An alternative to classical logic is paraconsistency. The choice is not unmotivated: despite being a non-classical logic, paraconsistent logic is not meant to challenge classical logical conceptions. Rather, it was originally developed as an attempt to supply alternative tools to consider some mathematical and logical problems not possibly addressed within a classical formalism. Furthermore, if the adoption of a paraconsistent logic leads to the rejection of the Halting Theorem, it should be noticed that such a result does not follow trivially. Paraconsistent logic is weaker than classical logic, but not as weak as any logic that cannot demonstrate inconsistency. Surely the historical development of this kind of non-classical logic raised several issues concerning its interpretation. Paraconsistent logic can be regarded from two different points of view: a) as a logic complementary to classical logic, or, b) as a kind of heterodox logic, incompatible with classical logic, whose aim is to replace the latter in all or some of its

This paper benefited from helpful suggestions and criticisms from Prof. D. Dennett (Tufts University U.S.A), Prof. D. Isles (Tufts University U.S.A)) , Prof. G. Sarmento (Universidade Estadual de Campinas, Brazil), Prof. Itala D’Ottaviano (Universidade Estadual de Campinas, Brazil) and Prof. M. Sette (Universidade Estadual de Campinas, Brazil). A preliminary version was presented at the meeting of the Australasian Association for Logic, July 1998, Macquarie University, Australia. 2 Department of Philosophy, Universidade Federal de Sao Carlos, Brazil

applications.3 For one thing, a) seems to be the case. Since paraconsistent reasoning does not lead to trivialization in the presence of contradictions, i.e., since it does narrow the set of inferences that can follow from a contradiction, such reasoning can be viewed as an attempt to refine classical reasoning. Furthermore, it would be an attempt to think beyond contradiction and not just outright reject it. Nevertheless, b) seems also to be the case. Since paraconsistent logic does deny that from a contradiction anything can plausibly follow, a crucial contrast to classical logic may emerge. Furthermore, one can also consider that the adoption of a) may also force the adoption of b): reasoning beyond contradiction would, in this case, be tantamount to encompassing classical logic in a broader framework. In this case, paraconsistent logic would contain classical reasoning or a great deal of it. But this is also disputable. Offering a thorough discussion of both possibilities either from a philosophical perspective or from a technical one is beyond the scope and limits of this paper. We shall only emphasize that paraconsistent logic can be the underlying logic of inconsistent non-trivial theories; leaving aside the task of determining which of these possibilities is the case in general. However, one can pose a further constraint on the choice of a non-classical logic to envisage Turing’s Halting Problem (hereafter also referred as THT) by selecting a specific paraconsistent logic as close as possible to classical logic. This is the case of C 1+, recently developed by Da Costa, Beziau and Bueno. C1+ may be viewed as overlapping with classical logic in many respects and this is its most strikingly feature. C 1+ allows some patterns of paraconsistent reasoning in the presence of contradictions that, considered from a broader perspective, overlap with classical reasoning. This is what approximates C 1+ to a classical formalism; i.e., the overall result of C1+ is close to the classical idea that from a contradiction anything can plausibly follow. However, C1+ differs from classical logic in as much as its paraconsistent reasoning in the presence of contradictions does not lead to trivialization, regardless of the fact that it may overlap with classical reasoning. This proximity to classical logic can be viewed as a relevant criterion to choose C 1+ among a broader family of possible paraconsistent logic with the purpose of investigating what consequences can emerge once Turing’s Halting Problem is conceived from a non-classical perspective. Now, what happens if THT cannot be derived from C1+? Does it also mean that Turing’s Halting Theorem is at odds with the classical idea that from a contradiction anything can plausibly follow? If this is the case, the truth of THT is in jeopardy, even from a classical

For more details concerning this discussion, see Da Costa, Beziau & Bueno, (1995).


perspective. But this is too strong a result, a result which would require a clear characterization of the relations between classical and paraconsistent logic. Since such a clarification has not yet been attained, we shall not discuss this matter here. Rather, we shall show that THT cannot be derived from C1+. Such a result allows a preliminary rejection of THT since we see no reason why classical logic ought to be considered an absolute presumption for the theory of computation. C1+ is enough to question the extent to which THT follows as a reductio in the presence of contradictions. I We shall start our investigation by outlining C1+. For reasons of space, we shall not present here C1+ in all its technical details. Instead, we shall present two examples of paraconsistent reasoning allowed by C1+ . Both are provided by Da Costa, Béziau & Bueno (1995). The first (Reasoning 1) is a typical pattern of paraconsistent reasoning in the sense of restraining what can plausibly be derived when a contradiction is encountered, i.e., paraconsistent reasoning challenges the principle that anything follows from contradictory premises. The second (Reasoning 2) is a specific pattern of reasoning derived from paraconsistent logic C1+ : a pattern of reasoning which overlaps with classical logic. As we shall see below, the interesting characteristic of C1+ lies in the fact that both Reasoning 1 and Reasoning 2 can be derived from it. In this sense, patterns of reasoning allowed by C1+ ultimately do not conflict with classical logic, except for the fact that they do not follow trivially once a contradiction is encountered. Let us start by Reasoning 1. A certain Mr. X is sick and goes to Dr. B. who tells him that he has got cancer. Mr.X. decides to consult another specialist, Dr. P. who asserts that he has not got cancer. Dr. P does not agree with his colleague on this point but there is one thing they both recognize: (1) If Mr. X has got cancer he will die in the next three months. By using typical paraconsistent reasoning, MrX can make interesting reasonings without supposing either that Dr. B or that Dr. P is wrong. From the statement of Dr. B, the statement of Dr. P and the statement they both agree to, paraconsistent reasoning does not allow one to infer that: (2) If Mr.X has not got cancer he will not die in the next three months.


In classical reasoning we would have: a = Mr. X has got cancer, ∼ a = Mr. X. has not got cancer, b = Mr.X will die in the next three months. From a, ∼ a and b, both (1) and (2) follow. Typical paraconsistent reasoning precludes (2), for in paraconsistent logic (and in C 1+ ) it is not the case that from { a, ∼ a, a ⊃ b } it does follow, as in classical logic, that ∼ a ⊃ ∼ b . The interesting point about this pattern of paraconsistent reasoning is that it does not allow trivialization in the presence of contradictions. In other words, the advantage of paraconsistent logic is that we can go on making reasonings without, as in classical logic, supposing either that one of the terms of the contradiction must be rejected or that from a contradiction we can derive anything. Let us now turn to Reasoning 2. Suppose Dr. B says: It is not possible that: Mr. X has not got cancer (∼ a) And Mr. X will die in the next three months.(b) From this statement – and only this one – C1+ allows us to infer, as in classical logic, that: (2) If Mr.X has not got cancer he will not die in the next three months. The interesting feature of C1+ is that, besides Reasoning 1, we can derive a further pattern of reasoning (Reasoning 2). We can interpret “it is not possible that d” as “there exists δ such that δ (d) = 0”. We have δ (∼ a ∧b) = 0 and δ (∼ (∼ a ∧b)) = 1 and the sequent ∼ (∼ a ∧b) → ∼ a ⊃ ∼ b can be proved in C1+. Once C1+ precludes (2) in Reasoning 1 and allows (2) in Reasoning 2, we can plausibly sustain that the overall results of C1+ match with classical logic. However, the difference with classical logic lies in the fact that there is no trivialization, i.e., the presence of a contradiction does not “implode” the system in the sense that anything could plausibly follow from a contradiction. The preclusion of (2) in Reasoning 1 and the possibility of (2) in Reasoning (2) are not trivial consequences of a contradiction as in classical logic. Now, what happens if we apply paraconsistent reasoning derived from C1+ to Turing´s Halting Theorem? Does da Costa´s paraconsistent logic C1+ show that it is possible to ascertain the possible existence of an algorithm for the problem of non-terminating computations? Our


claim for the possible existence of a Halting Algorithm can be envisaged as a particular application of C1+ - an application which suggests that there might be computation beyond the classical limitations presented by Turing in his paper of 1936. A caveat may hinder this claim: can THT be treated as a matter of paraconsistency? The issue crops up in so far as one may sustain that paraconsistent reasoning only applies to worldly situations from which either agreement or disagreement may emerge. Whether or not Turing Machines can be conceived as entities in the world or purely mathematical entities we shall discuss later. The issue as to whether it is a matter of agreement/disagreement if a Turing Machine halts or not surely can be distinguished from a worldly situation such as medical diagnosis. Medical diagnosis can be controversial mostly due to lack of conclusive evidence. However, it may also be controversial due to interpretation of evidence. In this case, the conflict of interpretation emerges in so far as diagnosis is grounded in mutually exclusive scientific theories and conceptions. Unless THT is taken for granted, i.e., as an absolute truth that would cut across any conception of mathematics and independently of any given set of instruments to prove it, disagreement can also crop up in this field. Nevertheless, the possibly absolute character of THT as independent of how we conceive of mathematics is not a matter settled once and for all. For instance, Isles (1981) has pointed out that THT cannot be sustained unless we take for granted a questionable “intuitive” sequencing of the natural numbers given by the function +1.4 There are two more reasons to sustain that THT at least can be envisaged from a paraconsistent setting. First, as we said at the outset of this paper, we should consider that THT, by proceeding by reductio, is a kind of pattern of reasoning in the presence of contradictions. The underlying intuition of THT is that once trivialization emerges from contradiction, a reductio also obtains. (Surely, this is a presupposition of classical logic). Secondly, the overlapping between classical and paraconsistent reasoning as an overall result of C1+. (In C1+ Reasoning 1 and Reasoning 2 lead to the classical view that from a contradiction anything can plausibly be

Isles questions THT by raising the issue concerning the ordering of natural numbers and proposes a “mitigated” version of THT. However, I do not share his intuitionistic views.


derived). If such an overlapping is not just a fortuitous coincidence, (why would it be?) classical and paraconsistent treatment of THT are equally plausible. The issue that remains to be investigated is whether a paraconsistent treatment though overlapping with a classical one would still entail the truth of THT. Let us now explore what consequences may emerge from envisaging THT from C 1+ by initially presenting an intuitive version of the Halting Theorem and of its proof through an example. Consider a computation on a natural number n. If we call such a computation C(n) we can conceive it as providing a family of computations where there is a separate computation for each natural number, 0,1,2,3...i.e., the computations C(0),C(1), C(2),C(3)...C(n) are the action of some Turing Machine (TM) on the number n, taken as the machine input. Suppose we have some computational procedure A which, when it terminates provides a demonstration that a computation such as C(n) does not ever stop. If in any particular case A itself ever comes to an end, this would provide us with a demonstration that the particular computation that it refers to does not ever stop. Furthermore, we say that A is sound if it does not give us wrong answers. For, if A were unsound, then it would erroneously assert that the computation C(n) does not ever terminate when in fact it does. But if this is the case, the performing of the actual computation C(n) would eventually lead to a refutation of A. In order for A to apply to computations generally, we shall need a way of coding all the different computations C(n) so that A can use this coding for its action. All the possible different computations C can in fact be listed as: C0,C1,C2,C3,C4 ..., and we can refer to Cq as the qth.computation. When such a computation is applied to a particular number n we shall write: C0(n),C1(n),C2(n),C3(n),C4(n),.... This ordering can be viewed as a numerical ordering of computer programs. Moreover, this listing is computable i.e., there is a single computation C• which gives us Cq when it is


presented with q, or, in other words, the computation C• acts on the pair of numbers, q,n (q followed by n) to give Cq(n). The procedure A can now be thought of as a particular computation that, when presented with the pair of numbers q,n, tries to ascertain that the computation Cq(n) will never halt. Thus, when the computation A terminates we have a demonstration that Cq(n) does not halt. Being dependent on the two numbers q and n, the computation that A performs can be written A(q,n), and we have: (1) If A(q,n) stops, then Cq(n) does not stop. Now let us consider the particular statements (1) for which q is put equal to n. With q equal to n, we now have: (2) If A(n,n) stops, then Cn(n) does not stop. We notice that A(n,n) depends upon just one number, n, not two, so it must be one of the computations C0,C1,C2,C3.. (as applied to n), since this was supposed to be a listing of all the computations which can be performed on a single natural number n. Let us suppose that it is in fact Ck, so we have: (3) A(n,n)= Ck(n). Now examine the particular value n=k. From (3) we have: (4) A(k,k) = Ck(k). and from (2), with n=k (5) If A(k,k) stops, then Ck(k) does not stop. Substituting (4) in (5) we find: (6) If Ck(k) stops, then Ck(k) does not stop. From this we deduce that the computation Ck(k) does not in fact stop, for, if it did, then it does not, according to (6). But A(k,k) cannot stop either, since by (4) it is the same as Ck(k). Therefore, our procedure A cannot ascertain that this particular computation Ck(k) does not stop even though it does not.


According to such a presentation the unsolvability of Turing´s Halting Problem is derived from the second part of Cantor's diagonal slash: (5) - If A(k,k) stops, then Ck(k) does not stop. Substituting (4) in (5) we find: (6) - If Ck(k) stops, then Ck(k) does not stop. Furthermore, we saw that from this we must deduce that the computation Ck(k) does not in fact stop. For if it did then it does not, according to (6). But A(k,k) cannot stop either, since by (4) A(k,k)= Ck(k) it is the same as Ck(k). Thus our procedure A is incapable of ascertaining that this particular computation Ck(k) does not stop even though it does not. The existence of A is denied for it implies a contradiction. Since A(k,k)= Ck(k) we can write: (7) If A(k,k) stops, Ck(k) does not stop. (8) If A(k,k) does not stop, Ck(k) does not stop. (7) and (8) can be rewritten in the form: (9) A is sound, and (10) A is not sound. A cannot exist for it encompasses a contradiction. Nevertheless, it is agreed on this formulation of Turing´s Halting Problem that (11) If A is sound A(k,k) stops and Ck(k) does not stop; A(k,k) does not stop and Ck(k) stops. Now if we consider such a formulation of Turing´s Halting Problem in the light of paraconsistent reasoning (and by contrast to classical logic) one cannot infer that (8) If A(k,k) does not stop, Ck(k) does not stop. All that is allowed by paraconsistent Reasoning 1 is (7) and not both (7) and (8). From (7) and (8) and from its corresponding statements (9) and (10) one cannot trivially infer (8). Since


only (7) can be inferred from (9), (10) and (11) we can ascertain that the existence of A is possible. Let us now turn to an application of Reasoning 2 to THT. Suppose that from (9) and (10) one says: (12) It is not possible that A(k,k) does not stop and Ck(k) stops. However (12)=(8) and, since (12) follows non- trivially from (9) and (10) it means that both (7) and (8) cannot follow from (9) and (10). Once (7) is to be discarded, THT cannot be proven since its proof is based on the possibility of deriving both (7) and (8) from (9), (10) and (11). The application of both Reasoning 1 and Reasoning 2 shows that from a paraconsistent setting, the proof of THT as a reductio does not follow. Still, C1+ by allowing both Reasoning 1 and Reasoning 2 does conform to the classical conception that from a contradiction anything can follow (Reasoning 1 – A is sound, Reasoning 2 – A is not sound). One could that we reached nothing but a further contradiction resulting from considering both Reasoning 1 and Reasoning 2, but, if this is the case, we are left with two possibilities. Either classical reasoning is just a fragment of a broader inconsistent logic, i.e., C1+ encompasses classical logic, or this is just a fortuitous match between classical and paraconsistent reasoning. The second possibility must be outright rejected. For, even if this is a coincidence it should be a very superficial one, once classical and inconsistent logic do not share common grounds – even in the case of non-trivial inconsistent logics as C1+. The first cannot be outright discarded, but it would ultimately entail a rejection of proofs by classical reductio reasoning and thus a rejection of THT. In any case a paradox may arise if we consider that in a paraconsistent setting accepting or rejecting THT means the rejection of a great deal of classical logic. Such a paradox points to the conclusion that


a Halting Algorithm may exist, and, though we cannot show what it is like as yet, future investigation may unveil its nature.5

II Several consequences of the result stated above deserve to be discussed at length. To begin with, there are at least two questions in need of a more detailed consideration: 1) How is it possible that a weaker logic such as

can solve more problems in the theory of computation

than classical logic? and 2) Does the reasoning developed above mean that any mathematical proof by reductio can be discarded? A tentative answer to the first question is to suggest that once one takes paraconsistent logic as the underlying logic for the theory of computation one also escapes the classical limitations posed by incompleteness theorems - an assertion that would also be applicable to any logical system that admit some inconsistency. But does that make, for instance, C1+ stronger than classical logic? Probably not, once there are still more theorems in classical logic than in C1+ . Furthermore, why should we take paraconsistent logic as a foundation for mathematics and for the theory of computation? The issue bears not only on the adoption of C1+ ,but on the adoption of any non-classical logic: once contradiction and diagonal arguments can be rejected, more unwelcome consequences may crop up, such as, for instance, the collapse of arithmetic ( n would equal n+1!). As we remarked at the outset of this paper, the price to pay may be too high. Can we assert he possible existence of a Halting Algorithm without having to pay such a price? We


The existence of a Halting Algorithm is also suggested by Sylvan & Copeland (1997) who remark that in a paraconsistent setting the derivation of a contradiction is insufficient for rejecting the assumption that leads to THT, namely, the assumption that there may exist a Turing machine capable of computing the halting function. More enthusiastically, Sylvan and Copeland suggest that such a result points to a further horizon for computing theory, i.e., the possibility of developing the new emerging field of paraconsistent computability theory. Needless to say that, if this is the case, such authors are committing themselves to a Herculean task.

For the completeness and decidability of C1+ see da Costa ,Béziau & Bueno (1995) and Béziau (1995).


believe such an alternative is possible and so we shall argue for it in the remainder of this paper. Such an argument will run as follows: a) – THT may be conceived as a mathematical truth, but not necessarily as a truth of the theory of computation in so far as the latter is a chapter of applied mathematics. b) – Mathematical truths and the truths of the theory of computation need not overlap in so far as the latter deals with specific objects, namely, virtual objects. c) – Mathematical truths do not necessarily map onto the world. Such an anti-realist assumption is applicable to THT. Thus, there may exist a thing as a Halting Algorithm though not grasped by classical logic. Once we abandon the absolutism of classical logic by adopting paraconsistent logic the existence of such a Halting Algorithm becomes conceivable. Let us begin by introducing anti-realist claims. An alternative to the sheer adoption of non-classical logic as the basis for the theory of computation and hence to mathematics can be figured if we start by questioning the epistemic status of THT. Such a reflection can also point to an answer to question (2). Surely THT is a mathematical truth if we stick to classical logic, but, to what extent does it necessarily map to the real world? So posed, the issue has several nuances. To begin with, there is no reason not to suppose that paraconsistent based computation may continue beyond the classical limitation which stems from a diagonal contradictory element. In other words, a computing machine in the real world will not stop when a contradiction is encountered unless it has a specific instruction to halt. Supposing that the diagonal element is d and that the instruction is to increase the diagonal by 1, the diagonal element encontered is such that d= d+1. If d is binary, instead of encountering either 0 or 1, what is encountered is 0 and 1. Computation may continue and the possibility of encountering a Halting Algorithm cannot be downright discarded. THT can be held, but just as a formal truth which does not necessarily map onto the real world. Still, this is not to say that classical logic does not map onto the world and that paraconsistent logic does. To a certain extent, this issue cannot be established only through the resources supplied by logic and mathematics. Further considerations stemming from philosophy


See Sylvan and Copeland (1997), forthcoming.


of science would also be necessary. For the time being we only wish to point out that the advantage of this view is that if THT does not map onto the world there is no need to dispense with classical logic and we can plausibly maintain the possible existence of a Halting Algorithm. A further advantage also emerges: we need not expand such a conclusion to the point of having to reject all mathematical demonstrations which proceed by reductio. The objection to this view is to hold that there is such a mapping between THT and the world despite the fact that the elements of the theory of computation are purely mathematical, and hence there cannot exist such a thing as a Halting Algorithm. The presumption of such an objection is that the theory of computation can indeed be conceived as a formal game having nothing to do with real computing machines but still having to do with the computing machines we can possibly build (!). But if the theory of computation can be viewed just as a formal game we can plausibly vindicate a non-classical logic for its foundation, once we have no reason to accept classical logic as an absolute, given framework. The consequences would be devastating and mostly counterintuitive: arithmetic would collapse,

2 would become rational ....and so

what? A non-classical logic as the underlying logic for the theory of computation would still allow us to hold the possible existence of a Halting Algorithm even (and perhaps, specially) if one wishes to envisage C1+ as encompassing classical logic. If this is the scenario, too bad for orthodox theory of computation ... and too bad for mathematics...! Both possibilities (namely (1) THT does not map to the real world, and (2) Computation theory is purely formal and, still, it does map to the world) do jeopardize THT. The first devastates the relationship between mathematics and the world, the second is insufficient to shun C1+ as encompassing classical logic (however unsettled this matter may be) and providing a

foundation for mathematics. Still, they both allow the possible existence of a Halting Algorithm. Rejecting the second is less disadvantageous, but perhaps this is still not a sufficient reason to accept the first. The task we face is that of steering between the path of avoiding the collapse of arithmetic and, at the same time, not succumb to an unquestioned absolutism of classical logic as

a foundation for the theory of computation. However, the difficulty involved in such a task can be overcome by reflecting upon the status we are to ascribe to the elements involved in the theory of computation. The anti-realist view of THT allows us to preserve a good deal of classical logic and, at the same time, to hold the possible existence of a Halting Algorithm by pointing to a partial disentanglement between the objects of mathematics and the objects of the theory of computation. Such an anti-realism hinges on the extent to which we are to conceive of the theory of computation as a purely mathematical theory or as a chapter of mathematics. This is a mostly delicate question, since one could trivialize our criticism of THT by arguing for the existence of a “natural” gap between a mathematical theory and its application to the physical world; in the case of the theory of computation such a gap would be, for instance, the inexistence of an infinite tape for a Turing Machine - an inexistence which does not prevent us from building actual computing machines. Such a claim is misleading since the issue at stake is not merely implementational. Furthermore, the disparity between infinite tapes and actual ones does not seem to affect the results of the theory of computation - not in the way we are contending here. Physical triangles do not contain 180° but it is still a perfectly good mathematical truth that Euclidean triangles contain 180°. Surely the theory of computation finds its foundations in an underlying logic and in a set of mathematical truths. But there should be more to the theory of computation than a sheer recapitulation of such well-established truths, otherwise it would be of no use. The distinctive content of the theory of computation must lie in its consequences which ultimately allow to devise computing machines even when the latter are conceived as abstract or virtual machines. In this sense, the theory of computation is a chapter of applied mathematics, but a very specific one. Such a specificity lies in the way the theory of computation maps mathematical and logical truths to the world - a peculiar mapping to virtual elements. A mapping to virtual elements is very much peculiar but it is still a mapping into something in the world. But what ontological status are we to ascribe to a virtual machine? Has a Turing Machine the status of a purely mathematical entity, i.e., the status of something which has no place in space and time? For one thing we believe that

computation happens in the world, even when performed by a virtual machine: computation involves time, since the very idea of sequencing (no matter whether or not it is a linear mode of operation or a cycle of parallel activity) is at the core of any algorithmic process. Turing Machines yield specific temporal sequencing for the execution of mathematical operations – a sequencing without which the solution of certain problems would not be accomplished. So viewed, Turing Machines involve some worldly element, for, no matter how abstract our conception of time may be, it is still a kind of physical magnitude.
9 8

So viewed, the theory of computation cannot be purely mathematical, but it cannot be empirical either. Among its elements there are those we are to classify as endowed with the grayish ontology of virtual elements which, nonetheless, still maintain some reference to the world - virtual elements which can, in turn, be pressed into service in any number of different empirical applications. It is this surreptitious instillation of a reference to the world which allows us to treat virtual machines as something in the world. So THT can be preserved as a classical mathematical truth despite the fact that we disqualify its realism as well its absolute character by applying a pattern of paraconsistent reasoning derived from C1+ .THT is a mathematical truth, but not necessarily a truth of the theory of computation - not when the latter refers to somewhat real machines in a world of time and space, i.e., machines whose behavior although describable by mathematical theories ought not to be viewed as entirely predictable by any specific mathematical framework, let alone classical formalism.

We cannot conceive of a Turing Machine without a reference to time. Even a Turing Machine with just one instruction would require a further one to get the machine stop. Although clock rates are irrelevant to the computation insofar as they do not compromise the reliability of the switchings (the description of the Turing Machine can be nonholonomic) it is unconceivable that two instructions can be realized at the same time. 9 Even subjectivist accounts of time would admit that time does involve a reference to something in the world. Kant, for instance, who held that time is an a priori form of sensitivity says that “Time is not a discursive, or as it is called, a general conception, but a pure form of the sensuous intuition” (emphasis mine). Kant´s first antinomy emphasizes the need to distinguish sensuous and intelligible spheres in dealing with mathematical notions - at least as a means to avoid the raising of pseudoproblems.The same point is noted in an earlier Kant´s work (1770/1967) where he asserts that A=A cannot be considered a purely logical relationship if the equality is mediated by time. (“A enim et non A non repugnant nisi simul (h.e. tempore eodem) cogitata de eodem, post se autem (diversis temporibus) eidem competere possunt” p.60). Such a distinction seems to have been overlooked in current discussions concerning the nature of the elements in the theory of computation.


The oddity but also the cogency of our viewpoint can also be supported by a parallel between classical logic/paraconsistent logic and Euclidean/non-Euclidean geometry. NonEuclidean geometries have afforded us to deal with new conceptions posed by contemporary physics such as, for instance, space with variable curvature. Similarly, paraconsistent logic may afford us to deal with peculiarities of the elements of the theory of computation, i.e., paraconsistent logic is to replace classical logic in some of its applications such as the main theorems of the theory of computation. So viewed, the possibility of finding a Halting Algorithm should neither scare the mathematicians nor force us to give up one of the most thoroughly studied pieces of mathematics of this century.

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