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Philosophical Influence on Computer Science

Philosophy is deeply rooted in the History of Computers starting with Leibniz and his concept of binary. Leibniz's dream imagines the Armchair Philosopher to be left alone with his thoughts while machines take care of all the other menial tasks required for daily living. George Boole gives us logical operators. Whitehead and Russell give us the Predicate Calculus which is the precursor for computer language and syntax. Lots of different electronic variations of the electronic computer came to fruition during post World War II like the Eniac, Harvard Mark and the UNIVAC. It wasn't until Alan Turing did the modern computer come into existence as we know it today. After that it was up to Linguistics, Scientists and Mathematicians from Rand, IBM and Bell Laboratories to spearhead this new industry.

Does the influence of Philosophy end there?
How much of a disadvantage do computer scientists have considering all the other sciences like civil engineering, chemistry, physics, etc are hundreds of years old?

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After server-side computing beat out mainframes and token ring technology, computers found their way in the hands of ordinary, non-scientific type, people. Once this product became widely available, the needs of the industry had changed. Lots of philosophical debates on pragmatism arose, along with the ethics of computing and online engagements. Meta-logic and ontology has found a new home in the fast growing world of Knowledge Based Systems which also brings ...

Solution Summary

Philosophy has a strong grounding in computers and is needed once again to fully understand how computers have impacted our lives. Philosophical concepts such as epistemology, ethics, pragmatism and Meta-Logic are explored as they find relevance to this fast paced industry. Engineers need to be aware of the philosophical debates surrounding their science. The lack of a formal standard of regulation regarding internet content is an ongoing problem for users. Philosophy is a study of different systems and how they benefit our lives, and modern day computing has benefited.