Lorentz Center - Philosophy of the Information and Computing Sciences from 8 Feb 2010 through 12 Feb 2010
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    Philosophy of the Information and Computing Sciences
    from 8 Feb 2010 through 12 Feb 2010




The following issues and research questions will be among those to be discussed and studied during the workshop. The list is only meant to give an impression:


  • The grand ideas and insights which informatics has achieved in the 20th century, and their impact on science and the humanities
  • Connections and mutual influences between informatics and general philosophy (e.g. epistemology, philosophy of mind)
  • Is informatics relevant to the grand questions of classical continental philosophy
  • What is `knowledge’ in informatics
  • Is the philosophy of informatics studied like one is studying the philosophies of e.g. mathematics, biology, history etc. Or also as a way of doing `general philosophy
  • The constructionist philosophy of computer science
  • The research methodologies of computer science
  • Understanding the notion of information: what are the attributes of information (e.g. usefulness, quality) and how can they be formalized
  • What is the relationship between information and complexity in the natural sciences
  • How does informatics relate to the foundations of physics. Is informatics adding essential new concepts or issues to the physical sciences as we know them
  • Computing in the limit: extending computability to the infinite
  • Philosophical aspects of human-computer interaction
  • Philosophical aspects of computer networks
  • Epistemology and quality of web information
  • Philosophy of social networking and computer-mediated communication
  • Philosophical aspects of pervasive computing and ambient intelligence
  • Embedding value and ethics in system design and software engineering
  • Design principles and their relation to ethical requirements
  • Computer science as an infra-science i.e. as a science for other science, and how it influences the wider field of knowledge
  • Agents: confluence of computer science, AI, and also economics (game theory). Where is this area heading, and what is its impact on our foundational understanding, forged in the Turing area
  • Computers and `thinking’: the syntax-semantics barrier and other aspects
  • Cognitive science and informatics: the shifting border line between the empirical and the virtual
  • Informatics and societal transformation
  • The grand challenges of informatics as a science



Some references


[1]                The philosophy of computer science. Special issue, Minds and Machines 17:2 (2007) 135-167.

[2]                The philosophy of computer science. Special issue, Journal of Applied Logic 6:4 (2008) 459-626.

[3]                P. Adriaans, J.F.A.K. van Benthem (Eds.), Philosophy of Information. In: Handbook of  the Philosophy of Science, North-Holland  (Elsevier), Amsterdam, 2008.

[4]                Ph. Brey, J.H. Søraker, Philosophy of computing and information technology, in: A. Meijers (Ed.), Philosophy of Technological Sciences. In: Handbook of the Philosophy of  Science, North-Holland (Elsevier), Amsterdam, (to appear).

[5]                P.M. Churchland, P.S. Churchland, Could a machine think, Scientific American 262:1 (1990) 32-39

[6]                J. Copeland, Artificial Intelligence: A Philosophical Introduction, Wiley/Blackwell, Oxford, 1993.

[7]                P.J. Denning, Computing is a natural science, Comm. ACM 50:7 (2007) 13-18.

[8]                P.J. Denning, Great principles of computing, Comm. ACM 46:4 (2003) 15-20. See also the `principles’ website at http://cs.gmu.edu/cne/pjd/GP/GP-site/welcome.html.

[9]                E-CAP 2009, 7th Annual European Conference on Computing and Philosophy, Barcelona, 2-4 July, 2009.

[10]           L. Floridi, The Blackwell Guide to the Philosophy of Computing and Information, Routledge, London, 2004.

[11]           I. Foster, A two-way street to science’s future, Nature 440 (2006) 419.

[12]           S. Gregor, The nature of theory in information systems, MIS Quarterly 30:3 (2006) 611-642.

[13]           MacroVU, Mapping great debates: can computers think? , set of  argumentation maps, at http://www.macrovu.com/CCTGeneralInfo.html.

[14]           J. Preston, M. Bishop (Eds.), Views into the Chinese room: New essays on Searle and artificial intelligence, Oxford University Press, 2002.

[15]           M. Tedre, The development of computer science – A sociocultural perspective, PhD Thesis, University of Joensuu, 2006.

[16]           R. Turner, A. Eden, The philosophy of computer science, in: Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, at http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/computer-science/.

[17]           J. van Leeuwen, J. Wiedermann, How we think of computing today, in: A. Beckmann, C. Dimitracopoulos, and B. Löwe (Eds.), Logic and Theory of Algorithms, Proc. CiE 2008, Lecture Notes in Computer Science Vol. 5028, Springer, Berlin, 2008, pp. 579-593.