Institute for Personal Robots in Education Blog

The Quest for Truth

Sun, 2007-09-23 19:45
Rebecca Farber (not verified)

Bill Rapaport discussed the relationship between philosophy and computer science, delving into the threads that weave both the fields together. Before it began, I wondered what any philosopher major could really gain from the lecture, but as soon as Rapaport began to discuss the links it became evident that computer science's philosophy is rooted in many of the issues that concern an average philosophy major - such as ethics, truth, and theory-processing.
The many different definitions for technical words that I always thought were concrete began to prove the fluidity of the field of computer science, much like that of philosophy. For instance, Rapaport gave notable thinkers' different definitions of software, ranging from software being a program that can be changed by humans to software being synatcic, to it being a concrete abstraction. The use of algorithms in computer science relates to recipes used in everyday life - algorithms constitute as methods of instruction for a program. This leads to the question of what exactly a program is and what issues it encompasses, such as what types of decisions certain programs should make, and the morality of computer-based recommendations. Programs are like any testable model, testing theories via itself. On the greater scope, Rapaport discussed the ethical issues of what specifically can be patented, copywritten, or exported. The lecture on Wednesday night brought forth issues concerning computer science as a whole and how it relates to the search for truth.


  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
  • Allowed HTML tags: <em> <strong> <cite> <code> <ul> <ol> <li> <dl> <dt> <dd>
More information about formatting options