Faculty of Arts


Special Topic: Philosophy and Computation


Computer science originated in certain logico-philosophical problems regarding the notion of an effective procedure, resulting in the attempt to make this notion mathematically rigorous. Since the heyday of this early work in the 1930s, especially Alan Turing’s account of computability, philosophy has continued to engage with computer science at various levels. This course covers a range of issues that arises from this engagement, including abstract reflection on the notion of computation (what is computation; how should it be modeled; what are the relations between logic, physics and computation), the limits of computation (the Church-Turing Thesis; complexity and its importance; the Turing barrier; how the limits of computation affect computer-assisted proofs in mathematics) and the prospects of the computational implementation of intelligence (AI) (including the contrast between strong and weak AI and belief, knowledge and consciousness from the perspective of AI).

Availability 2012

Semester 1


Coordinator(s) Associate Professor Rod Girle
Dr Jeremy Seligman

Recommended Reading



LOGICOMP 301: 15.0 points


PHIL 222 or COMPSCI 225


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