The aim of this paper is to begin developing a version of Gualtiero Piccinini’s mechanistic account of computation that does not need to appeal to any notion of proper functions. The motivation for doing so is a general concern about the role played by proper functions in Piccinini’s account, which will be evaluated in the first part of the paper. I will then propose a potential alternative approach, where computing mechanisms are understood in terms of Carl Craver’s perspectival account of (...) mechanistic functions. According to this approach, the mechanistic function of ‘performing a computation’ can only be attributed relative to an explanatory perspective, but such attributions are nonetheless constrained by the underlying physical structure of the system in question, thus avoiding unlimited pancomputationalism. If successful, this approach would carry with it fewer controversial assumptions than Piccinini’s original account, which requires a robust understanding of proper functions. Insofar as there are outstanding concerns about the status of proper functions, this approach would therefore be more generally acceptable. (shrink)