How can philosophy of science contribute to basic issues in computing and programming, not just on the conceptual level but also on a more concrete level? Giuseppe Primiero, one of the PROGRAMme members, is one of the researchers moving across the different disciplinary divides to show how philosophy can really matter. In two recent papers, he considers two important issues.
In the first paper, titled Infringing Software Property Rights: Ontological, Methdological, and Ethical Questions, the very basic ethical issue of software property rights infringement and argues that any discussion around property rights (legal or other) should be carefully distinguish between three types of questions, viz. ontological, methodological and ethical questions. It is rooted in previous work from Primiero and his co-author on the ontological problem of software copies. Based on that, they now identify what they consider the most appropriate level of abstraction at which software should be legally protected. From that perspective, the current work connects insights from (Floridi’s) philosophy of information and the central role played by so-called LoA’s with a fundamental problem of software property right infringement. The paper is available here:
In the second paper, titled A theory of change for prioritised resilient and evolvable software systems the problem of maintenance and improvement of software systems used to guarantee the reliability of a system in view of change, is attacked by providing a full formalization of three basic processes: completion, correcting and prioritizing of specifications. This formalization is achieved by using an existing paradigm from philosophy of science, viz. The Alchourron-Gärdendorfs-Makinson paradigm for belief revision of human epistemic states. The paper is available here.