Philosophy and Technology 29 (1):35-59 (2016)

R. Kevin Hill
Portland State University
The algorithm, a building block of computer science, is defined from an intuitive and pragmatic point of view, through a methodological lens of philosophy rather than that of formal computation. The treatment extracts properties of abstraction, control, structure, finiteness, effective mechanism, and imperativity, and intentional aspects of goal and preconditions. The focus on the algorithm as a robust conceptual object obviates issues of correctness and minimality. Neither the articulation of an algorithm nor the dynamic process constitute the algorithm itself. Analysis for implications in computer science and philosophy reveals unexpected results, new questions, and new perspectives on current questions, including the relationship between our informally construed algorithms and Turing machines. Exploration in terms of current computational and philosophical thinking invites further developments.
Keywords Algorithm  Philosophy of computer science  Church-Turing thesis  Mathematical ontology
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DOI 10.1007/s13347-014-0184-5
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References found in this work BETA

Informal Rigour and Completeness Proofs.Georg Kreisel - 1967 - In Imre Lakatos (ed.), Problems in the Philosophy of Mathematics. North-Holland. pp. 138--157.
Mathematical Logic.Stephen Cole Kleene - 1967 - New York, NY, USA: Dover Publications.
Computing Mechanisms.Gualtiero Piccinini - 2007 - Philosophy of Science 74 (4):501-526.
Semiotic Systems, Computers, and the Mind: How Cognition Could Be Computing.William J. Rapaport - 2012 - International Journal of Signs and Semiotic Systems 2 (1):32-71.
Specification.Raymond Turner - 2011 - Minds and Machines 21 (2):135-152.

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