Miscomputation

Nir Fresco, Giuseppe Primiero

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Scopus citations

Abstract

The phenomenon of digital computation is explained (often differently) in computer science, computer engineering and more broadly in cognitive science. Although the semantics and implications of malfunctions have received attention in the philosophy of biology and philosophy of technology, errors in computational systems remain of interest only to computer science. Miscomputation has not gotten the philosophical attention it deserves. Our paper fills this gap by offering a taxonomy of miscomputations. This taxonomy is underpinned by a conceptual analysis of the design and implementation of conventional computational systems at various levels of abstraction. It shows that 'malfunction' as it is typically used in the philosophy of artefacts only represents one type of miscomputation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)253-272
Number of pages20
JournalPhilosophy and Technology
Volume26
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Sep 2013
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Computer science
  • Design
  • Errors
  • Implementation
  • Malfunction
  • Physical computation
  • Program
  • Specification

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Philosophy
  • History and Philosophy of Science

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