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Radical Empiricism and Empirical Modelling

Lecture Notes and Resources compiled by Meurig Beynon and Steve Russ

for a colloquium on the theme of

Philosophy meets Computer Science: William James and the conception of Empirical Modelling

as presented on December 12th 2008 in conjunction with the module entitled

William James' "Radical Empiricism" als Konzept des Empirical Modelling in der Computer Science

conceived and delivered by Prof. Hans-Joachim Petsche, Philosophy Department, University of Potsdam, Germany, 2008-9.

Conceptual orientation [09.15]

An example: The OXO laboratory [09.35]

  • programming as modelling
  • varieties of OXO game
  • cognitive layering
  • how to give a traditional account of the OXO laboratory?

Philosophical orientation [10.10]

Challenges to the rationalistic (analytic) tradition* and the phenomenological and Jamesian attitude

*as described by Winograd and Flores in Chapter 6 of Understanding Computers and Cognition, Addison-Wesley (1987)

Radical Empiricism and Empirical Modelling [10.30]

How Radical Empiricism helps to give an account of Empirical Modelling

Questions and feedback [11.15]

Break [11.30]

Empirical Modelling and Radical Empiricism [12.15]

  • Relating challenges to the rationalistic tradition to RE and EM
  • issues for Radical Empiricism
  • Why Radical Empiricism? Why RE and EM?

Empirical Modelling illuminating key issues for Radical Empiricism [12.45]

  • communication before and beyond words
  • pluralism
  • formality and informality
  • lived experience

More sources and resources [13.45]

Questions and feedback [14.15]

End [14.30]

Appendix added in August 2012

The following poster was devised by Meurig Beynon for presentation at a workshop on Philosophy of the Information and Computing Sciences at the Lorentz Center in Leiden, February 8-12, 2010

Classical Computer Science in the World of Pure Experience

It has been added to this webpage because of its relevance to the theme of the Potsdam colloquium.