On the Foundations of Computing

ISBN : 9780198835646

Giuseppe Primiero
304 ページ
156 x 156 mm

Computing, today more than ever before, is a multi-faceted discipline which collates several methodologies, areas of interest, and approaches: mathematics, engineering, programming, and applications. Given its enormous impact on everyday life, it is essential that its debated origins are understood, and that its different foundations are explained. On the Foundations of Computing offers a comprehensive and critical overview of the birth and evolution of computing, and it presents some of the most important technical results and philosophical problems of the discipline, combining both historical and systematic analyses. The debates this text surveys are among the latest and most urgent ones: the crisis of foundations in mathematics and the birth of the decision problem, the nature of algorithms, the debates on computational artefacts and malfunctioning, and the analysis of computational experiments. By covering these topics, On the Foundations of Computing provides a much-needed resource to contextualize these foundational issues. For practitioners, researchers, and students alike, a historical and philosophical approach such as what this volume offers becomes essential to understand the past of the discipline and to figure out the challenges of its future.


1 Introduction
2 A fundamental Crisis
3 Computing and Deciding
4 What is Computable?
5 Mechanical Computation
6 On the Nature of Algorithms
7 Computing as a Mathematical Discipline
8 The First Generation of Computers
9 The Laws of Evolution
10 Properties of Implemented Computations
11 Specification and Implementation
12 Computing as an Engineering Discipline
13 Elements of Experimental Computing
14 Models and Simulations
15 Formal Relations
16 Computing as an Experimental Discipline
17 Conclusions


Giuseppe Primiero is Associate Professor of Logic at the Department of Philosophy, University of Milan (Italy). He acts as President of the DHST Commission for the History and Philosophy of Computing (HaPoC) and Secretary General of the Association Computability in Europe (CiE). His research interests are primarily in Logic and Computation, Philosophy of Computing and Information.