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Philosophic Thoughts

Essays on Logic and Philosophy


Gary James Jason

Philosophic Thoughts: Essays on Logic and Philosophy comprises a collection of essays on logic and philosophy. The first section features essays that address issues in informal logic, such as the question of whether fallacies are common and the nature of the ad baculum and ad hominem fallacies. The section also includes essays on formal dialogue logic and its applications in computer science. The second section contains articles on epistemology and philosophy of science, including issues surrounding induction, the role of error in computer science, the relation of science to common sense, and the concept of discovery. The third section features ethical issues – from the sketching out of an ethical theory to the discussion of a variety of ethical issues, such as the ethics of organ sales, tort reform, free trade, and computer ethics. The final section includes essays on a number of miscellaneous issues, such as using thought experiments to teach philosophy, the soul-making defense against the problem of free will, and the limitations of postmodern philosophy.
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21. “The Role of Error in Computer Science”


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“The Role of Error in Computer Science”

first appeared in Philosophia Vol. 19, No. 4 (1989), pp. 403–416

The aim of this paper is to explore the concept of error as it applies to computer science. Now, it is customary in computer science (hereafter “CS”) to distinguish between hardware (the actual computing equipment) and software (the programs which run on that equipment). We will not be concerned with error in hardware, since that is a matter of engineering design and manufacturing quality control. We are specifically interested in the notion of error in software. For the purposes of this paper, CS will be synonymous with software science. There are a number of interesting features to error avoidance in software that bear examination.

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