Metaphilosophy 41 (3):345-364 (2010)

Abstract: Laws of computer science are prescriptive in nature but can have descriptive analogs in the physical sciences. Here, we describe a law of conservation of information in network programming, and various laws of computational motion (invariants) for programming in general, along with their pedagogical utility. Invariants specify constraints on objects in abstract computational worlds, so we describe language and data abstraction employed by software developers and compare them to Floridi's concept of levels of abstraction. We also consider Floridi's structural account of reality and its fit for describing abstract computational worlds. Being abstract, such worlds are products of programmers' creative imaginations, so any "laws" in these worlds are easily broken. The worlds of computational objects need laws in the form of self-prescribed invariants, but the suspension of these laws might be creative acts. Bending the rules of abstract reality facilitates algorithm design, as we demonstrate through the example of search trees.
Keywords law  invariants  freedom  abstraction  computer science
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DOI 10.1111/j.1467-9973.2010.01631.x
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References found in this work BETA

The Method of Levels of Abstraction.Luciano Floridi - 2008 - Minds and Machines 18 (3):303-329.
Novum Organum.Francis Bacon, Peter Urbach & John Gibson - 1996 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 47 (1):125-128.
Abstraction in Computer Science.Timothy Colburn & Gary Shute - 2007 - Minds and Machines 17 (2):169-184.

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Object-Oriented Programming and Representation of Objects.Adam Drozdek - 2015 - Studies in Logic, Grammar and Rhetoric 40 (1):293-302.

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