Recent Developments in Computing and Philosophy

Abstract
Because the label "computing and philosophy" can seem like an ad hoc attempt to tie computing to philosophy, it is important to explain why it is not, what it studies (or does) and how it differs from research in, say, "computing and history," or "computing and biology". The American Association for History and Computing is "dedicated to the reasonable and productive marriage of history and computer technology for teaching, researching and representing history through scholarship and public history" (http://theaahc.org). More pervasive, work in computing and biology enjoys the convenient name of "bioinformatics...the science of using information to understand biology..., a subset of the larger field of computational biology, the application of quantitative analytical techniques in modeling biological systems" (http://oreilly.com/catalog/bioskills/chapter/ ch01.html). The recent venture of the Association for Computing Machinery and the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers to publish the Transactions on Computational Biology and Bioinformatics (TCBB) bears witness to the reach of computing and biology and underscores its objective. TCBB intends to report "archival research results related to the algorithmic, mathematical, statistical, and computational methods that are central in bioinformatics and computational biology; the development and testing of effective computer programs in bioinformatics; the development and optimization of biological databases; and important biological results that are obtained from the use of these methods, programs, and databases" (http://tcbb.acm.org). In the case of "computing and history" and "bioinformatics," each discipline stands in a particular relationship to computers that raises questions unique to itself. But both are devoted to the development of computational tools to aid discovery..
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