Against a Universal Definition of 'Type'

Petricek, Tomas (2015) Against a Universal Definition of 'Type'. In: Proceedings of Onward! 2015: ACM International Symposium on New Ideas, New Paradigms, and Reflections on Programming and Software. ACM, New York, NY, USA pp. 254-266. ISBN 978-1-4503-3688-8. (doi:https://doi.org/10.1145/2814228.2814249) (Full text available)

Abstract

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: Conference or workshop item (Proceeding)
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: Faculties > Sciences > School of Computing
Faculties > Sciences > School of Computing > Programming Languages and Systems Group
Depositing User: Tomas Petricek
Date Deposited: 27 May 2018 18:22 UTC
Last Modified: 29 May 2018 12:24 UTC
Resource URI: https://kar.kent.ac.uk/id/eprint/67144 (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
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