Advertisement for the Philosophy of the Computational Sciences

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


This chapter deals with those fields that study computing systems. Among these computational sciences are computer science, computational cognitive science, computational neuroscience, and artificial intelligence. In the first part of the chapter, it is shown that there are varieties of computation, such as human computation, algorithmic machine computation, and physical computation. There are even varieties of versions of the Church-Turing thesis. The conclusion is that different computational sciences are often about different kinds of computation. The second part of the chapter discusses three specific philosophical issues. One is whether computers are natural kinds. Another issue is the nature of computational theories and explanations. The last section of the chapter relates remarkable results in computational complexity theory to problems of verification and confirmation.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Oxford Handbook of Philosophy of Science
EditorsPaul Humphreys
PublisherOxford University Press
Number of pages28
ISBN (Electronic)9780199368839
ISBN (Print)9780199368815
StatePublished - 2 Sep 2014

Publication series

NameOxford Handbooks


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