Symposium: Nicola Angius, Giuseppe Primiero and Petros Stefaneas, Methodological Issues in the Philosophy of Computer Science

In the last decade, the Philosophy of Computer Science (PhiloCS) arose with the aim of developing essential epistemological research in computer science and software engineering, providing an analysis of methods and techniques involved in the software development processes. This symposium aims at presenting some of the current research trends in PhiloCS and to show the impact that a methodological examination of computer science may have, in particular, on the philosophy of cognitive sciences and AI. The symposium will deal with the following three main topics: specifications and miscomputations of computational artefacts; design, representation and testing of computational artefacts; the impact of PhiloCS on computability, cognitive sciences and AI.

Raymond Turner

Raymond Turner is an English logician and theoretical computer scientist based at the University of Essex, UK, where he is Professor Emeritus of Logic and Computation. He holds doctorates in philosophy and theoretical computer science from the University of London. He has published widely in philosophical logic, formal semantics, theoretical computer science and the philosophy of computer science. His books include Computable models, Truth and Modality, Constructive Foundations for Functional languages, Properties, Types and Meaning (with Gennaro Chierchia and Barbara Partee), and Logics for Artificial Intelligence.

Petros Stefaneas

Petros Stefaneas is Lecturer in Logic and Computer Science at the Department of Mathematics, School of Applied Mathematical and Physical Sciences at the National Technical University of Athens, Greece. Coordinator of the Logic and Formal Methods Group (, of the Algorithmic Applications and Logic Laboratory. Research on formal methods and the semantics of computation, open data policies, ethics and philosophy of computer science.

Robin Hill

Dr. Hill is an adjunct faculty member in both the Department of Philosophy and the Wyoming Institute for Humanities Research at the University of Wyoming, retired from several years of faculty assistance with technology in the center for teaching and learning. Her research interest is the philosophy of computer science, and in particular, applying the methods of philosophy to the diverse phenomena of computing.

Her teaching experience includes over 30 years of logic, computer science, and information systems courses for the University of Wyoming, University of Maryland University College (European Division), State University of New York at Binghamton, Metropolitan State College, and others. Her academic credentials comprise degrees earned as follows:

Ph.D. in Computer Science, State University of New York at Buffalo, 1994;
M.S. in Management Information Systems, University of Arizona, 1980;
M.A. in Mathematical Logic, University of East Anglia (Great Britain), 1979;
B.A. in Philosophy, University of Wyoming, 1975.

Giuseppe Primiero

Dr. Giuseppe Primiero is Senior Lecturer in Computing Science at the Department of Computer Science, Middlesex University London ( and Guest Professor at the Centre for Logic and Philosophy of Science, Ghent University. He is Vice-President of the DHST-DLMPST Commission on the History and Philosophy of Computing (HaPoC) and Member of the Leadership Committee of the Society for the Philosophy of Information (SPI) and of the International Association for Computing and Philosophy (IACAP). His research areas include logic, philosophy of information and computation. In his recent work he has developed conceptual, formal and algorithmic definitions for the concepts of trust, privacy and security in software design and computational systems.

Viola Schiaffonati

Viola Schiaffonati is associate professor of Logic and Philosophy of Science at the Dipartimento di Elettronica, Informazione e Bioingegneria of Politecnico di Milano, where she teaches courses in philosophy of computer science and computer ethics. She got her master degree in Philosophy from Università degli Studi di Milano in 1999 and a PhD in Philosophy of Science from Università di Genova in 2004. She has been visiting scholar at the Department of Philosophy of the University of California at Berkeley during the academic year 2000/01 and visiting researcher at the Suppes Center for the Interdisciplinary Study of Science and Technology at Stanford University in 2005. Her main research interests include: the philosophical foundations of artificial intelligence and robotics and the philosophy of computing sciences and information, with particular attention to the philosophical issues of computational science and the epistemology of experiments.

Mario Verdicchio

Mario Verdicchio is researcher at the Department of Management, Information and Production Engineering at the University of Bergamo, Italy. He got a PhD in Information Engineering in 2004 at Politecnico di Milano, Italy, with a thesis on the semantics of artificial communication languages. He took part in a number of national and international research projects, including the EU FP7 projects PrimeLife (sustainable privacy and identity management in future networks and services, 2008-2010) and PoSecCo (construction of traceable links between high-level requirements and configuration settings in future Internet services, 2010-2013). He conceived and co-founded the international conference series on Computation, Communication, Aesthetics and X in 2013 ( He lectures in a number of academic courses, all aimed at illustrating the links between algorithmic approaches and communication processes, including Computer Science for Communication at the University of Bergamo, Italy.

Nir Fresco

Nir Fresco holds a PhD in Philosophy of Cognitive Science from the University of New South Wales, a Master’s degree in Philosophy and a Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science. In 2013 he was awarded the international Goldberg Memorial Prize for outstanding graduate research in the area of computing and philosophy by the IACAP. His postdoctoral studies, thus far at the Hebrew University, have focused mainly on the explanatory role of information theory in cognitive science. Fresco has recently completed a research fellowship at the Israel Institute for Advanced Studies at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem working on the theoretical foundations of computation. This work is a continuation of his doctoral studies on the role of computation in cognitive science. In addition to his research on theoretical cognitive science, he has been working on the ethics of emerging and developing information technologies.

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