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Against a Universal Definition of 'Type'

Petricek, Tomas (2015) Against a Universal Definition of 'Type'. In: Onward! 2015 2015 ACM International Symposium on New Ideas, New Paradigms, and Reflections on Programming and Software. SPLASH Systems, Programming, and Applications . ACM, New York, USA, pp. 254-266. ISBN 978-1-4503-3688-8. (doi:10.1145/2814228.2814249) (KAR id:67144)


What is the definition of 'type'? Having a clear and precise answer to this question would avoid many misunderstandings and prevent meaningless discussions that arise from them. But having such clear and precise answer to this question would also hurt science, "hamper the growth of knowledge" and "deflect the course of investigation into narrow channels of things already understood".

In this essay, I argue that not everything we work with needs to be precisely defined. There are many definitions used by different communities, but none of them applies universally. A brief excursion into philosophy of science shows that this is not just tolerable, but necessary for progress. Philosophy also suggests how we can think about this imprecise notion of type.

Item Type: Book section
DOI/Identification number: 10.1145/2814228.2814249
Uncontrolled keywords: philosophy, science, types
Subjects: Q Science > QA Mathematics (inc Computing science) > QA 76 Software, computer programming, > QA76.17 History of computing
Q Science > QA Mathematics (inc Computing science) > QA 8 Philosophy of mathematics
Divisions: Divisions > Division of Computing, Engineering and Mathematical Sciences > School of Computing
Depositing User: Tomas Petricek
Date Deposited: 27 May 2018 18:22 UTC
Last Modified: 09 Dec 2022 01:50 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)

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