Philosophy and Computing: An Introduction

Philosophy and Computing: An Introduction

by Luciano Floridi
Pub. Date:
Taylor & Francis

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Philosophy and Computing: An Introduction

Philosophy and Computing explores each of the following areas of technology: the digital revolution; the computer; the Internet and the Web; CD-ROMs and Mulitmedia; databases, textbases, and hypertexts; Artificial Intelligence; the future of computing.
Luciano Floridi shows us how the relationship between philosophy and computing provokes a wide range of philosophical questions: is there a philosophy of information? What can be achieved by a classic computer? How can we define complexity? What are the limits of quantam computers? Is the Internet an intellectual space or a polluted environment? What is the paradox in the Strong Artificial Intlligence program?
Philosophy and Computing is essential reading for anyone wishing to fully understand both the development and history of information and communication technology as well as the philosophical issues it ultimately raises.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780415180245
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
Publication date: 11/11/1999
Pages: 256
Product dimensions: 6.25(w) x 9.25(h) x 0.69(d)

Table of Contents

1Divide et computa: philosophy and the digital environment1
The digital revolution1
The four areas of the digital revolution4
From the analogue to the digital: the new physics of knowledge9
The digitisation of the infosphere: three steps14
The relations between philosophy and computing15
2The digital workshop20
From the laboratory to the house20
What is a computer?21
Programming languages and software47
Types of commercial computers50
The personal computer51
3A revolution called Internet56
The Internet as a basic technological change56
What is the Internet?61
What can the Internet be used for?67
The future of the human encyclopaedia in the third age of IT: Frankenstein or Pygmalion?79
4The digital domain: infosphere, databases and hypertexts88
The Paradox of the growth of knowledge: from the chicken and the egg to the needle in a haystack88
"Everything must be transformed into an Encyclopaedia" (Novalis)97
What is a database system?99
Types of database systems102
Data, information and knowledge: an erotetic approach106
The hyperbolic space of the infosphere and the fifth element108
The aesthetic and the ontological interpretation of databases110
The commodification of information and the growth of the infosphere113
Rich and poor in the information economy114
ICT practical problems and computer ethics116
Textual analysis: a constructionist approach116
Hypertext as information retrieval system117
Conclusion: a Renaissance mind?130
5Artificial intelligence: a light approach132
Turing's Test134
Four limits of Turing's Test136
The application-areas of AI142
The conditions of possibility of AI and the paradox of GOFAI146
From GOFAI to LAI148
The Cartesian nature of LAI150
Deep Blue: a Cartesian computer151
The success of LAI154
The limits of LAI215

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