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Computer Science is Philosophy

Posted by n_alex on August 9, 2003 at 9:51 AM PDT

Logic is the foundation of philosophy. It's also the foundation of Computer Science. I think it's interesting how some in the IT industry try to brand IT as a purely pragmatic field, in that charming American "we don't trust academics" sort of way.

But in reality, pragmatics seems to play a minor role in developer's minds. I've seen some pretty wild ideas just looking for a practical use. Many products (and much of the documentation surrounding them) fail miserably when it comes to user friendliness. Pragmatics are an afterthought for a lot of Open Source projects.

There are some brilliant minds out there in the Open Source world, engaged philosophy and speculative inquiry. I don't know many of them in person, but I think the Open Source community (at least the part that doesn't focus all its attention on developing roleplaying games) is very philosophical. At least it is from my perspective.

It's like a new generation of philosophers has risen out of nowhere, grown to maturity unannounced and are working to change history as we carry out our daily lives. I wonder what their effect will be on the field. It's certainly an interesting time to be around.

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