Philosophy and Technology 27 (3):377-397 (2014)

Taken at face value, a programming language is defined by a formal grammar. But, clearly, there is more to it. By themselves, the naked strings of the language do not determine when a program is correct relative to some specification. For this, the constructs of the language must be given some semantic content. Moreover, to be employed to generate physical computations, a programming language must have a physical implementation. How are we to conceptualize this complex package? Ontologically, what kind of thing is it? In this paper, we shall argue that an appropriate conceptualization is furnished by the notion of a technical artifact
Keywords Programming languages  Semantics  Technical artifacts  Philosophy of mathematics  Philosophy of technology
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DOI 10.1007/s13347-012-0098-z
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Functional Analysis.Robert Cummins - 1975 - Journal of Philosophy 72 (November):741-64.

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