Faculty of Arts


Philosophy and Computation

Please note: this is archived course information from 2018 for LOGICOMP 301.


Computer science originated in certain logical-philosophical problems regarding the notion of an effective procedure, resulting in the attempt to make this notion mathematically precise and, later, in the attempt to construct machines that could implement such procedures. Since the heyday of this early work in the 1930s, especially Alan Turing's account of what are now called Turing machines, philosophy has continued to engage with computer science at various levels.

The course covers a range of issues that arises from this engagement. Beginning with the prehistory of computer science, including the work of Charles Babbage and the revolution in logic in the nineteenth century, it covers Turing's thesis (the thesis that whatever is effectively computable is computable by Turing machines); universal Turing machines and the way these led to the construction of programmable computers; the relations between logic, physics and computation; Hilbert’s programme and the limits of provability; proving versus programming; logical and philosophical issues arising from data science; quantum computing; and the prospects of the computational implementation of intelligence (AI).

View the course syllabus

Availability 2018

Semester 1


Lecturer(s) Professor Fred Kroon


LOGICOMP 301: 15.0 points


PHIL 222 or COMPSCI 225

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