Should Computer Science be Considered as Genuine Science
Using some (or all) of the distinguishing features of science identified by Okasha, give reasons why computer science should be considered a genuine science like physics, chemistry, or biology; then give reasons why computer science should not be considered a genuine science. Give both sides of the argument, though you do not have to take a side.
Purpose of the prompt: To apply Okasha’s ideas about the nature of science to a specific (potential) science.
Computer Science: the branch of knowledge concerned with the principles and use of computers.
Is Computer Science a Genuine Science?
Samir Okasha begins his article by questioning the faith that people should have on science. By exploring different themes and theories of the contemporary philosophy of science, he outlines and demonstrates challenging questions about science. To give a foundation of what science is, Okasha provides a clear overview of the history of science and investigates the nature of fundamental practices behind science like reasoning, explanation, and causation. By exploring the scientific revolutions, and the scientific change, Okasha questions whether a specific pattern in the way science change with time is. Further, Okasha discusses the realistic and non-realistic attitudes that people have towards science. For so long, there have been questions about computer science. While others think that computer science is just science like other natural sciences such as physics, chemistry, and biology, others think that computer science is not genuine. Therefore, this paper applies the philosophical views outlined by Okasha to explain whether computer science is a genuine science or not.
Scientists claim that genuine science deals with natural and not artificial entities. According to them, computer science is much about programming, networks, chips and other related technologies. Therefore, computer science is much rooted in human inventions and the technologies used for building computer science cannot last for along generation as in physics, chemistry, and biology. However, Okasha introduces a new concept through his philosophy. According to Okasha, science is just anything that explains and predicts the future of the world that people live in. But there is much more other than predicting the world. For example, religion can also predict the future and it is not science. One of the features that Okasha discusses genuine science is their practicality. Okasha discusses the contributions of various theorists in science. For example, Galileo also known as the first modern physicist applied mathematical language to describe the actual behavior of material objects. Okasha further expounds that even the current sciences like biology, chemistry and the scientific theories are formulated in mathematical language. According to Okasha, science is not science without a mathematical contribution. Back in computer science, many people think that computer science is not genuine because it purely depends on mathematical language and programming to bring solutions. In a real sense, just like the other natural sciences, computer science uses mathematics to make solutions. This qualifies to be a genuine science like others as discussed by Okasha. Computer science portrays significant similar features like other natural sciences.
Computer science as a wide field. It covers both theories, to user interface and programming. In computer science, all three departments are under the same umbrella. Interestingly, none of the computer departments are more of a science. Although the science is derived from the mathematical concepts as Okasha discusses, the mathematical concept of computer science is more dynamic. Furthermore, the computer concepts are not much-based hypothesis experiment. Most parts of computer sciences are not built on scientific method and or doing experiments. Computer science is a more hybrid of engineering and mathematics. However, both engineering and mathematics are not science. Although computer science also focuses on creating solutions, it is majorly based on technology and not scientific experiments.
Whether genuine like other sciences or not, computer science plays an essential role. Okasha’s view on science qualifies computer science to be genuine like other sciences. Considering the mathematical and experimental backup, computer science is majorly based on technology.