© 2017

Philosophy and Computing

Essays in Epistemology, Philosophy of Mind, Logic, and Ethics

  • Thomas M. Powers

Part of the Philosophical Studies Series book series (PSSP, volume 128)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-vi
  2. Michael Rescorla
    Pages 5-28
  3. William J. Rapaport
    Pages 29-64
  4. Paul Schweizer
    Pages 65-84
  5. Selmer Bringsjord, Alexander Bringsjord
    Pages 99-119
  6. Shannon Vallor
    Pages 161-178
  7. Markus Christen, Josep Domingo-Ferrer, Dominik Herrmann, Jeroen van den Hoven
    Pages 193-207
  8. Frances S. Grodzinsky
    Pages 221-234
  9. Back Matter
    Pages 235-242

About this book


This book features papers from CEPE-IACAP 2015, a joint international conference focused on the philosophy of computing. Inside, readers will discover essays that explore current issues in epistemology, philosophy of mind, logic, and philosophy of science from the lens of computation. Coverage also examines applied issues related to ethical, social, and political interest.

The contributors first explore how computation has changed philosophical inquiry. Computers are now capable of joining humans in exploring foundational issues. Thus, we can ponder machine-generated explanation, thought, agency, and other quite fascinating concepts.

The papers are also concerned with normative aspects of the computer and information technology revolution. They examine technology-specific analyses of key challenges, from Big Data to autonomous robots to expert systems for infrastructure control and financial services.

The virtue of a collection that ranges over philosophical questions, such as this one does, lies in the prospects for a more integrated understanding of issues. These are early days in the partnership between philosophy and information technology. Philosophers and researchers are still sorting out many foundational issues. They will need to deploy all of the tools of philosophy to establish this foundation. This volume admirably showcases those tools in the hands of some excellent scholars.


Philosophy of Computing Computer Ethics Artificial Agents Machine Ethics Autonomous Moral Agents Computers Epistemology Computers philosophy of mind Computers philosophy of science Computers political unrest Machine agency Machine thought Machine generated explanation Robots Big Data

Editors and affiliations

  • Thomas M. Powers
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PhilosophyUniversity of DelawareNewarkUSA

About the editors

Thomas M. Powers is the founding director of the Center for Science, Ethics, and Public Policy at the University of Delaware.  He holds appointments as Associate Professor in the Philosophy Department and the Delaware Biotechnology Institute.  His research concerns ethics in science and engineering, the philosophy of technology, and environmental ethics, and his publications range from topics in artificial intelligence and robotic ethics to the ethical aspects of design. Powers received a B.A. in philosophy (College of William and Mary) and a Ph.D. in philosophy (University of Texas at Austin).  He has been a DAAD-Fulbright dissertation-year fellow at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität in Munich, a National Science Foundation fellow in the School of Engineering and Applied Science at the University of Virginia, and a visiting researcher (2015) at the Université Pierre et Marie Curie, Laboratoire d'Informatique – Équipe: Agents Cognitifs et A

pprentissage Symbolique Automatique.

Bibliographic information


“The volume is wide-ranging and rich, and contains much that cannot be covered in a single review. It should have something of interest to anyone working on contemporary philosophy of computers and computation.” (Colin Klein, Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews,, May, 2018)