Faculty of Arts


Philosophy and Computation

Please note: this is archived course information from 2021 for LOGICOMP 301.


Computer science originated in the 1930s via mathematical and philosophical problems relating to strictly defining the components and expressive power of proofs and algorithms, before the invention of electronic computers. We explore many of the philosophical issues relating to computation. These may include: the definition and social role of a computer; the nature of algorithms; the analysis of some very primitive tools for creating very powerful algorithms; the Church-Turing thesis and commonality of distinct algorithmic methodologies; the fundamental limitations of algorithms; 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; distinguishing between artificial and ‘natural’ intelligence; the ethical implications of AI; the constraints society may place on computers; and how AI changes how we perceive ourselves.

This paper is co-taught by Philosophy and Computer Science, and is a good complement to CompSci 350. Some mathematical aptitude or background is expected.



Coursework + exam

Availability 2021

Semester 1




LOGICOMP 301: 15.0 points


PHIL 222 or COMPSCI 225

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