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March 13, 2006

Software Metaphysics

This is a simple weblog for those who are willing to think about how we think about software.

Sound odd? Consider...

Over the 30+ years that I've been doing software, it's been called:...

  • Data Processing (DP)
  • Information Services (IS)
  • Information Technology (IT)
  • Data Warehousing (DW)
  • Decision Support Systems (DSS)
  • ...

Every change in name is a reflection of a change in what we do, why we do it, how we do it. So it makes sense that we should think about how we think about this thing called "computing".

Why "metaphysics"? It fits well into the definition of metaphysics from one online "Philosophical Dictionary":

Metaphysics: The study of the most fundamental questions, in particular what there is (ontology), what is knowledge (epistemology), and what one should do (ethics).

The reason the stated questions are fundamental is that some sort of answer to these questions are presupposed in anything a human being does or thinks consciously, even if he is not aware of this, or doesn't care whether this is so.

There is much that we do in the construction of software that presumes we know -- and agree on -- the answers to these fundamental questions.

So Software Metaphysics explores questions around the software discipline concerning:

  • what exists and what process do we use to determine it exists
  • what is known and how do we discover what we know
  • what should be done with this knowledge and with the capabilities of software

"Software Metaphysics" is a service mark of BVWatson LLC
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