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Some possible questions for discussion


  • Is it appropriate to be giving such weighty consideration to the pragmatic stances of Peirce and James in connection with modern computing? To what extent have their ideas been developed? critiqued? superseded? In what sense might we be justified in paying more attention to their writings because of the advent of new technology?


  • To what extent are Peircean and Jamesian perspectives compatible? To what extent / in what ways can they be classified as / related to holistic and analytic approaches to meaning? van Breemen and Sarbo write: "... according to Peirce, cognition without signs is unthinkable and all we know we know through signs." and propose "a computational model for interpretative processes". Is this consistent with James's account of knowing in terms of conjunctions between parts of experience themselves given in experience, and his contention that: "But how the experiences ever get themselves made, or why their characters and relations are just such as appear, we can not begin to understand."


  • What limitations do the Peircean and Jamesian approaches to contemporary computing have? In this connection, we might wish to discuss process-oriented views of understanding, the computational theory of mind, the significance of established computer science concepts (formal specification, objects, ontologies), and - even! - the limitations of current tool support for Empirical Modelling.


  • What insights does McCarty's account of modelling, conceived in connection with humanities computing, have for computing as a whole?