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Philosophy of Computer Science

An Introduction to the Issues and the Literature

Rapaport, William J.


1. Auflage Februar 2023
528 Seiten, Softcover
Wiley & Sons Ltd

ISBN: 978-1-119-89190-1
John Wiley & Sons

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A unique resource exploring the nature of computers and computing, and their relationships to the world.

Philosophy of Computer Science is a university-level textbook designed to guide readers through an array of topics at the intersection of philosophy and computer science. Accessible to students from either discipline, or complete beginners to both, the text brings readers up to speed on a conversation about these issues, so that they can read the literature for themselves, form their own reasoned opinions, and become part of the conversation by contributing their own views.

Written by a highly qualified author in the field, the book looks at some of the central questions in the philosophy of computer science, including:
* What is philosophy? (for readers who might be unfamiliar with it)
* What is computer science and its relationship to science and to engineering?
* What are computers, computing, algorithms, and programs?(Includes a line-by-line reading of portions of Turing's classic 1936 paper that introduced Turing Machines, as well as discussion of the Church-Turing Computability Thesis and hypercomputation challenges to it)
* How do computers and computation relate to the physical world?
* What is artificial intelligence, and should we build AIs?
* Should we trust decisions made by computers?

A companion website contains annotated suggestions for further reading and an instructor's manual.

Philosophy of Computer Science is a must-have for philosophy students, computer scientists, and general readers who want to think philosophically about computer science.

Preface 17

I Philosophy and Computer Science 21

1 An Introduction to the Philosophy of Computer Science 25

2 Philosophy: A Personal View 31

II Computer Science, Computers, and Computation 65

3 What Is Computer Science? 69

4 Science 107

5 Engineering 127

6 Computers: A Brief History 141

7 Algorithms and Computability 155

8 Turing's Analysis of Computation 201

9 Computers: A Philosophical Perspective 253

III The Church-Turing Computability Thesis 291

10 Procedures 295

11 Hypercomputation 311

IV Computer Programs 341

12 Software and Hardware 345

13 Implementation 365

14 Computer Programs as Scientific Theories 389

15 Computer Programs as Mathematical Objects 405

16 Programs and the World 433

V Computer Ethics and Artificial Intelligence 471

17 Computer Ethics I: Should We Trust Computers? 475

18 Philosophy of Artificial Intelligence 489

19 Computer Ethics II: Should We Builld Artificial Intelligences? 525

VI Closing Remarks 537

20 Computer Science: A Personal View 539

Bibliography 551
William J. Rapaport is CSE Eminent Professor Emeritus in the Department of Computer Science and Engineering and an affiliated faculty member emeritus in the Departments of Philosophy and of Linguistics at the University at Buffalo, The State University of New York. He is a recipient of the Barwise Prize of the American Philosophical Association, the Covey Award of the International Association for Computing and Philosophy, and the SUNY Chancellor's Award for Excellence in Teaching.