Call for Papers: Computing and programming in context

The interplay between logic, science, technology and society

Call for papers for a special issue of the Philosophy and Technology journal, following the recent Fourth Conference on the History and Philosophy of Computing and the Fourth Symposium on the History and Philosophy of Programming. This call is open both to authors of contributions to HaPoC and HaPoP who are encouraged to submit a full paper based on their presentations, and to submissions not presented at the aforementioned conferences.

In a society where computers have become ubiquitous, it is necessary to develop a broader understanding of the nature of computing and programming, not just from a technical viewpoint, but also from a historical and philosophical perspective. Computers and computer programs do not exist in a vacuum – they are a part of a rich socio-technological context that provides ways for understanding computers and reasoning about programs (cognitive sciences and logic), they are made of technology that shapes the nature of computing and programming. Computers and programs also influence our understanding of the world (e.g. as a scientific instrument) or our relationship with the world (i.e. their sociological and psychological effects).

The aim of this special issue is to bring together works exploring computing and programming across their rich socio-technological, scientific and formal context. We are convinced that an inter-disciplinary approach is necessary for understanding computing and programming in their multifaceted nature. As such, we welcome interdisciplinary submissions by researchers coming from a diversity of backgrounds, including historians, philosophers and computer scientists.

Questions that consider computing and programming in a wider context include:

  • What formal, societal and technological influences contributed to the way in which modern programs are written and modern computers are constructed?
  • In what ways can computer programs lead to novel phenomenological experiences, be it through direct engagement with technological artifacts or as mediated through art?
  • What is the role of programs and computer simulations in traditional sciences such as biology and physics?

Suitable submission topics

This Call for Papers invites work that contributes to philosophy of technology by engaging with questions that arise when we consider computing and programming in a wider context. This includes, but is not limited to the interplay between computing or programming and:

  • Mathematics and formal logics - What role have mathematics and formal logics played in the history of computing and programming? What is the nature of the relationship between computer programs or technical computing artifacts and their formal models?
  • Sciences - Does computing and programming provide qualitatively new methods in sciences such as physics or biology? What can we learn by tracing the interaction between computing and scientific knowledge through the history?
  • Technology - In what ways have technological innovations enabled developments in computing and programming? What is the nature of the technological artifacts used in computing and how does it differ from other areas of technology?
  • Society - What are the societal implications of computing and programming? How are developments in computing interlinked with activities of professional organisations or businesses? How does programming contribute to disciplines outside of a narrow business programming context in areas such as art?

Editors and contacts

If you have any questions regarding suitability of a topic or format of the submission, please contact Tomas Petricek at [email protected]. For quick questions, you can also use @tomaspetricek on Twitter. You are also welcome to contact any of the other editors.

  • Tomas Petricek, University of Kent, UK (Guest editor)
  • Mark Priestley, The National Museum of Computing, UK (Guest editor)
  • Helena Durnová, Masaryk University, CZ (Guest editor)
  • Giuseppe Primiero, Middlesex University, UK (Associate editor for P&T)

Important dates

  • 1 October 2018 - Deadline for paper submissions
  • 1 January 2019 - Deadline for paper reviews
  • 1 March 2019 - Submission of revised papers
  • 2019 (expected) - Publication of the special issue

Submitting your paper

To submit a paper for this special issue, please go to the journal's Editorial Manager, which also contains information on the submission formatting requirements. The author (or a corresponding author for each submission in case of co-authored papers) must register into the Editorial Manager system. You then need to select the special article type Computing and Programming in Context from the selection provided in the submission process. This is needed in order to assign the submissions to the Guest Editors.

Submissions will then be assessed according to the following procedure:

New Submission => Journal Editorial Office => Guest Editor(s) => Reviewers => Reviewers’ Recommendations => Guest Editor(s)’ Recommendation => Editor-in-Chief’s Final Decision => Author Notification of the Decision.

The process will be reiterated in case of requests for revisions.