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Knowledge and Computing

Computer Epistemology and Constructive Skepticism

Tibor Vamos

Publication Year: 2010

The result of the author’s extensive practical experience: a decade in computer process control using large scale systems, another decade in machine pattern-recognition for vision systems, and nearly a decade dealing with artificial intelligence and expert systems. These real-life projects have taught Vámos a critical appreciation of, and respect for, both abstract theory and the practical methodology that grows out of—and, in turn, shapes—those theories. Machine representation means a level of formalization that can be expressed by the instruments of mathematics, whereas programming is not more and not less than a special linguistic translation of these mathematical formulae. How these all are related and controlled is a most practical philosophical and computation professional task. Wide experience in the practical fields of computer science, and the research of the underlying theoretical issues have led Vámos to the development of the attitude and activity of constructive skepticism.

Published by: Central European University Press

Title Page, Copyright Page

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pp. 2-5

Table of Contents

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pp. v-vi

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pp. 1-2

Ferenc Bródy, József Bokor, Márta Fehér, Lajos Rónyai, János Gertler who read the drafts carefully and supported them with important comments, ideas, and goodwill but should not take responsibility for this final undertaking; ...

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Preface of Computer Epistemology, 1991

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pp. 3-6

This book is neither a textbook nor a monograph, but an essay. The style is defined by the subject and the objective. The subject matter lies in an area between computer science and philosophy, while the objective is to offer something between a general overview and practical advice. ...

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pp. 7-8

After about fifteen years since my first book about computer epistemology was published, I decided to complete a review of further progress in computer science and of my own personal views and experience. I found shortly that the original book is still valid, nothing had to be corrected, ...

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Chapter 1. Why Computer Epistemeology?

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pp. 9-36

The practice of a critical view of all kind of activities is a useful activity in itself. Creating some professional procedures for critical views is also useful. This book puts an emphasis on the mathematical-computational instruments of our computer and information technology supported activities, ...

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Chapter 2. Algebra: The Discipline from the Simplest to the Most General

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pp. 37-80

Let us start with a thought-experiment. That is a common way of thinking about how to construct complex objects: define, or assume, or imagine a small set of basic components and a similarly small set of fundamental rules for combining of them. From the very start of computing history, games were designed in this way, ...

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Chapter 3. Logic, the Origin of All Programming

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pp. 81-108

The question of mathematics or philosophy is not new and not a formal disciplinary classification problem. Logic, as it was born, belonged to philosophy, not only because all science belonged to philosophy. Logic was a major achievement in the first Age of Reason, that of the Greeks, ...

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Chapter 4. How Uncertain is Uncertainty?

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pp. 109-140

We are unable to get deep into the minds of our ancestors. Nevertheless, we can draw some hypotheses on their beliefs, on their view about the world order, mirrored in their fantasy. With some certainty, we can state that most of the events and circumstances were uncertain for them, especially from our point of view. ...

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Chapter 5. Excursion to the Fields of Ontology, Being and Beliefs

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pp. 141-148

The problems around uncertainty reach the border of epistemology and ontology. Ontology is understood here in the original philosophical sense—philosophy of Being. ...

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Chapter 6. Conclusions

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pp. 149-150

1. Computation and information technology started a radical change in human relations to all kinds of work and communication by the introduction of their technological instruments. ...


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pp. 151-190


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pp. 191-208

Picture Credits

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pp. 209-210

Name Index

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pp. 211-214

Subject Index

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pp. 215-218

Back cover

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p. 228-228

E-ISBN-13: 9786155211805
Print-ISBN-13: 9789639776647

Page Count: 228
Publication Year: 2010

Edition: first