Computability: Historical, Logical and Philosophical Foundations


September 1, 2015 - January 31, 2016


Organizers: Jack Copeland and Eli Dresner


The classical 1930s analysis of computability led to the computer revolution and to the disciplines of theoretical and applied computer science. In recent decades, computer science has advanced into very many diverse areas, bringing numerous different types of computing into play, with still further types being the object of current theoretical enquiry. Few of these forms of computation were envisaged at the time of the 1930s analysis of computability, and accordingly it is time to re-examine the classical notion.


The key questions—whether modern developments in computing and computing theory require revision of the historic 1930s analysis of the concept of computability, and, if so, what is the nature of the needed revisions—are currently the subject of intense debate and enquiry. However, this debate is typically compartmentalized, with insufficient interaction between the disciplines involved in different aspects of the enquiry. The goal of our group is a multi-focus approach to these fundamental issues. A revised notion of computability for the 21st century will add to existing scholarship on the work of the 1930s pioneers, contribute to significant debates in the foundations of computing and the philosophy of computing, and lay the conceptual ground for scientific developments. 


Conference: December 21 - 23, 2015