Reflections on Programming Systems

Historical and Philosophical Aspects

  • Liesbeth De Mol
  • Giuseppe Primiero

Part of the Philosophical Studies Series book series (PSSP, volume 133)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-viii
  2. Programming Without Systems

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 13-13
    2. Rabia Arif, Elisabetta Mori, Giuseppe Primiero
      Pages 15-47
  3. Formalizing Systems

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 81-81
    2. Julian Rohrhuber
      Pages 153-185
  4. Creating Systems

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 187-187
    2. Stephen Kell
      Pages 189-213
  5. Evaluating Systems

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 233-233
    2. Naveen Sundar Govindarajulu, Selmer Bringsjord, Atriya Sen, Jean-Claude Paquin, Kevin O’Neill
      Pages 235-260
    3. Robin K. Hill
      Pages 273-286

About this book


This book presents a systematic philosophical and historical analysis of operating systems (0S). The discussion starts with the evolution of OSs since before their birth. It continues with a comprehensive philosophical analysis grounded in technical aspects. Coverage looks at software and (where appropriate) hardware as well as their historical developments.

The authors not only offer historical and philosophical reflections on operating systems. They also explore the programs they coordinate and trace the epsitemic and ontological consequences of their designs. Each chapter investigates one or more overlapping fragments of this fascinating history. These include: the birth of the UNIX system and the development of early systems and prototypes; a conceptual analysis of the plurality of systems; an investigation into business, ethical, and aesthetics aspects related to operating systems; and logical principles of formal languages.

This book will interest researchers from a diversity of backgrounds. It will appeal to historians, philosophers, as well as logicians and computer scientists who want to engage with topics relevant to the history and philosophy of programming and more specifically that of operating systems.


Operating Systems Evolution of Software and Hardware Business Computing Ethical Software History of Programming Languages Coding practices OS historical analysis OS Philosophical Analysis History graphical user interfaces Ontology GUI Unix system history AISB/IACAP Conference Proceedings IFIP Advances in Information and Communication Technology THE operating system Data Validation history ALGOL 60

Editors and affiliations

  • Liesbeth De Mol
    • 1
  • Giuseppe Primiero
    • 2
  1. 1.CNRS, UMR 8163 Savoirs, Textes, LangageVilleneuve d‘AscqFrance
  2. 2.Department of PhilosophyUniversity of MilanMilanItaly

Bibliographic information