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Knowledge and Computing

A course on computer epistemology

Tibor Vámos, Research Professor, Member of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, Chairman of the Board of the Computer and Automation Research Institute of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences

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.


Acknowledgements Preface of Computer Epistemology 1991 Foreword Part 1 Why computer epistemology? 1.1 Prologue: why? 1.2 Knowledge about knowledge 1.3. Did it start also with the Greeks? 1.4. An important addendum about the not formalized human issue Part 2 Algebra, the discipline from the simplest to the most general 2.1 Introduction to the Game of Life and thinking 2.2 Algebra, the ladder from counting to coordinatizating the universe 2.3 Sets, other entity abstractions 2.4 Algebraic operations in highly practical roles: computational classes 2.5 Two examples of application algebraic methods 2.6 Abstracted reality: reflections in the brain and résumé Part 3 Logic, the origin of all programming 3.1 Basic problems 3.2 Logic in computers, now 3.3 About final truth, epistemic ethics Part 4 How uncertain uncertainty is? 4.1 Long story of uncertainty about uncertainty 4.2 Late evolution 4.3 The pragmatic view of methodologies Part 5 Excursion to the fields of ontology, Being and beliefs 5.1 Ontology, homunculus, constructive skepticism 5.2 Ethics: our pragma: useful and necessary 5.3 Analytic versus metaphysical, logic versus pattern 5.4 Future human roles and attitudes and constructive skepticism Part 6 Conclusions Appendices References Name index Subject index


226 pages
ISBN 978-963-9776-64-7 cloth $45.00 / €39.95 / £35.00